coal tar


: tar obtained by distillation of bituminous coal and used especially as an industrial fuel, in making dyes, and in the topical treatment of skin disorders

Examples of coal tar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dermalogica ensures that this serum is free of parabens, formaldehydes, phthalates, mineral oil, coal tar and sulfates. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 June 2022 What to Know About Mascara for Sensitive Eyes Check the Ingredients The most common ingredients that can cause eye irritation include synthetic fragrances, parabens, phthalates, coal tar, polyethylene glycol, and formaldehyde. Daley Quinn, Health, 25 May 2023 To this day, coal tar dyes (which are now derived from petroleum) do not require FDA certification. Rebecca Guenard, Discover Magazine, 16 Dec. 2014 In addition to being cruelty-free, the brand is also free of parabens, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, sulfates SLS & SLES, triclocarban and triclosan. Natalie Alcala, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Apr. 2023 Today, reflective fragments of coal tar cling to the water’s surface, striated in bands like a marble countertop. Sasha Von Oldershausen, Curbed, 8 Apr. 2022 King calls out several anti-fungal (and some antimicrobial) ingredients like selenium sulfide, pyrithione zinc, ketoconazole, coal tar, and tea tree oil that can decrease Malassezia, inhibit fungus growth, and calm an irritated, inflamed, and itchy scalp. Allure, 30 Sep. 2021 Wine Enthusiast’s spirits editor Kara Newman traced the history of blue drinks all the way back to their beginnings in mid-19th century England, where the invention of food dye—then derived from coal tar (yum!)—spurred a craze for colorful cocktails. Sophia Stewart, Bon Appétit, 20 Aug. 2021 Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Medicated Shampoo for Dogs contains micronized sulfur, salicylic acid & coal tar to help relieve mange, skin scaling caused by seborrhea and parasitic infections. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 16 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coal tar.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1785, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of coal tar was in 1785

Dictionary Entries Near coal tar

Cite this Entry

“Coal tar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

coal tar

: tar obtained from bituminous coal and used especially in making drugs and dyes

Medical Definition

coal tar

: tar obtained by distillation of bituminous coal and used in the treatment of some skin diseases by direct local application to the skin

More from Merriam-Webster on coal tar

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