coal tar


Definition of 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 Additionally, Neutrogena T/Gel Extra Strength Therapeutic Shampoo is made with 1 percent coal tar, an ingredient that can ease flaking and scalp irritation. Zoe Malin, NBC News, "Skin care bestsellers 2020: Most purchased skin care products we covered," 30 Dec. 2020 The plant created coal tar as a byproduct, which contains contaminants such as sulfur, heavy metals and metalloids such as mercury and arsenic. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After decades of cleanup efforts, EPA delists the Lower Menominee River as 'area of concern'," 11 Aug. 2020 But a study published in May 2020 confirmed that one raw chemical ingredient was unexpectedly derived from an entirely different pathway, synthesized from m-cresol, the same corrosive compound found in coal tar. National Geographic, "Bombardier beetles," 30 June 2020 His plan was to extract a synthetic version of the malaria drug quinine from a sludgy byproduct of gas lighting known as coal tar. Nancy Macdonell, WSJ, "Purple’s Past Is Richer Than You Think," 31 Dec. 2019 This shampoo, which Paul Cellura, MD, dermatologist at Tribeca Skin Center in New York City likes, relies on one percent coal tar to ease flaking and scalp irritation associated with seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff and scalp psoriasis. Gideon Grudo, NBC News, "The most purchased beauty products we covered this holiday season," 29 Dec. 2019 But the coal-gasification plant left the ground saturated with a hazardous byproduct, coal tar. Kevin Spear,, "Orlando Superfund pollution in Parramore gets concrete grave," 7 Nov. 2019 Through wells drilling into the contamination zone, water will be pumped out to remove coal tar and stop the spread of its ingredients. Kevin Spear,, "Orlando Superfund pollution in Parramore gets concrete grave," 7 Nov. 2019 In 1988, federal investigators found chemicals associated with coal tar in the aquifer and said the probable source was the former gasification plant. Kevin Spear,, "Orlando Superfund pollution in Parramore gets concrete grave," 7 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coal tar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coal tar

1785, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for coal tar

Time Traveler

The first known use of coal tar was in 1785

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Statistics for coal tar

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coal tar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for coal tar

coal tar


English Language Learners Definition of coal tar

: a black, sticky liquid made from coal that is used as a fuel and to make various products (such as soap)

coal tar

\ ˈkōl- How to pronounce coal tar (audio) \

Medical Definition of 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

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