ROAN (0. Fr. rouan, rouen; Ital. roano, rovano; perhaps connected with rufus, red), a word applied to a variety of colour in an animal's coat, especially that of a horse, where there is a mixture of grey or white hair with the prevailing tint of bay, chestnut or sorrel. A sorrel when thus modified is either a strawberry-roan or a cream-roan. The term is also used of a soft, flexible kind of leather made of sheepskin, used in bookbinding as a substitute for or in imitation of morocco; but in this sense the origin is doubtful.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)