1

tar

play
noun \ ˈtär \

Definition of tar

1 a :a dark brown or black bituminous usually odorous viscous liquid obtained by destructive distillation of organic material (such as wood, coal, or peat)
b :a substance in some respects resembling tar; especially :a condensable residue present in smoke from burning tobacco that contains combustion by-products (such as resins, acids, phenols, and essential oils)
2
[short for tarpaulin]
:sailor

Examples of tar in a Sentence

  1. a book about the adventurous lives of tars, skippers, and pirates of the 18th century

Origin and Etymology of tar

Middle English terr, tarr, from Old English teoru; akin to Old English trēow tree — more at 1tree

Other Chemical Engineering Terms


2

tar

verb

Definition of tar

tarred; tarring
transitive verb
1 :to cover with tar
2 :to defile as if with tar
  • least tarred by the scandal
  • Newsweek
tar and feather
:to smear (a person) with tar and cover with feathers as a punishment or indignity
tar with the same brush
:to mark or stain with the same fault or characteristic

First Known Use of tar

13th century


3

tar

play
verb \ ˈtär \
variants: or

Definition of tar

tarred; tarring; tars or tarres
transitive verb
:to urge to action usually used with on

Origin and Etymology of tar

Middle English terren, tarren, from Old English tyrwan


Tar

play
geographical name \ ˈtär \

Definition of Tar

river 215 miles (346 kilometers) long in northeastern North Carolina — see pamlico

TAR Defined for English Language Learners

tar

play
noun

Definition of tar for English Language Learners

  • : a very thick, black, sticky liquid made from coal that becomes hard when it cools and that is used especially for road surfaces

  • : a sticky substance that is formed by burning tobacco


TAR Defined for Kids

1

tar

play
noun \ ˈtär \

Definition of tar for Students

1 :a thick dark sticky liquid made from wood, coal, or peat
2 :a substance (as one formed by burning tobacco) that resembles tar

2

tar

verb

Definition of tar for Students

tarred; tarring
:to cover with or as if with tar

Medical Dictionary

tar

play
noun \ ˈtär \

medical Definition of tar

1 :any of various dark brown or black bituminous usually odorous viscous liquids obtained by destructive distillation of organic material (as wood, coal, or peat); especially :one used medicinally (as to treat skin diseases) — see coal tar, juniper tar, pine tar
2 :a substance in some respects resembling tar; especially :a condensable residue present in smoke from burning tobacco that contains combustion by-products (as resins, acids, phenols, and essential oils)


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to curse or denounce

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!