tar pit

noun

Definition of tar pit 

: an area in which natural bitumens collect and are exposed at the earth's surface and which tends to trap animals and preserve their hard parts (such as bones or teeth)

Examples of tar pit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Steer horns, assorted bottles, a wagon wheel, and even rusty vintage firearms were recovered from the grotto floor in 1995—akin to a La Brea tar pit for the pioneer set. Sunset, "Go on a Hot Springs Adventure in the Utah Desert," 22 Jan. 2018 Even when the wind here cooperated, Gordita was still like living on a houseboat anchored in a tar pit. David Kipen, latimes.com, "Critic at Large David Kipen on El Segundo in literature," 18 Apr. 2018 Last summer, Leger was expecting to see a dramatic increase in fossils as construction approached the tar pits. CBS News, "Subway construction unearths treasure trove of fossils from Los Angeles' prehistoric past," 22 Mar. 2018 Males were more likely to die in natural traps such as tar pits, ice lakes, mudflows, and bogs, according to a new study in Current Biology of DNA extracted from 98 fossilized woolly mammoths found across the Siberian landscape. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Male mammoths fell into traps more than females, giving clues to family structure," 2 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tar pit.' 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 tar pit

1839, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of tar pit was in 1839

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