tar baby


sometimes offensive
: something from which it is nearly impossible to extricate oneself

Word History


from the tar baby that trapped Brer Rabbit in an Uncle Remus story by Joel Chandler Harris

First Known Use

1882, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tar baby was in 1882

Dictionary Entries Near tar baby

Cite this Entry

“Tar baby.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tar%20baby. Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

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