tarry

verb
tar·​ry | \ˈter-ē, ˈta-rē\
tarried; tarrying

Definition of tarry 

(Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to delay or be tardy in acting or doing

b : to linger in expectation : wait

2 : to abide or stay in or at a place

tarry

noun
plural tarries

Definition of tarry (Entry 2 of 3)

tarry

adjective
tar·​ry | \ˈtär-ē \

Definition of tarry (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, resembling, or covered with tar

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of tarry in a Sentence

Verb

Tarry with us a while. upon seeing the sun beginning to sink in the sky, we realized we had tarried too long on the summit of the mountain

Noun

a fable about the tarry of two Americans in a Scottish village that every century magically comes into existence for a day
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

God save you if the steak in question tarried on the grill a second after the timer bell went off. Bill Daley, chicagotribune.com, "In praise of filet mignon: Maligned by chefs yet still beloved," 14 June 2018 The banks, however, along with the governments that protected their interests, jealously guarded their domains, so Gevers tarried for two years in search of an agreeable regulatory environment for his venture. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018 The Sense8 movie doesn’t tarry with things like plot or dialogue or grounded reality. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Sense8 Series Finale Recap: Farewell, International Orgies!," 8 June 2018 As the city has tarried in passing new rules to legalize sidewalk vending, many complain that the lack of legal approval has left them vulnerable to harassment and abuse. Emily Alpert Reyes, latimes.com, "L.A. shops would get voice, not veto, in sidewalk vending," 16 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Thick and tarry, asphalt needs to be heated up from a solid form before it can be spread out in a thick layer to make a road. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "How Alaska fixed its earthquake-shattered roads in just days," 8 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Ingestion of sago palm leaves, seeds or other plant parts causes liver failure, usually signaled by drooling, vomiting, diarrhea or a tarry black stool, depression, appetite loss, abdominal pain, lethargy and jaundice. Kim Campbell Thornton, sacbee, "Sago palms pose serious risks to pets – here are key things to know | The Sacramento Bee," 14 Mar. 2018 A sprig from a creosote bush infuses the steam in our shower stall with notes of the western Grand Canyon: tarry, resinous, bitter but rich. Michael Engelhard, Alaska Dispatch News, "An ode to Alaska odors," 1 July 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of tarry

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1552, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tarry

Verb

Middle English tarien

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tarry

Statistics for tarry

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tarry

The first known use of tarry was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tarry

tarry

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tarry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be slow in going : to stay somewhere

tarry

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of tarry (Entry 2 of 2)

: covered with tar

: dark or thick like tar

tarry

verb
tar·​ry | \ˈter-ē \
tarried; tarrying

Kids Definition of tarry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to be slow in coming or going

2 : to stay in or at a place

tarry

adjective
tar·​ry | \ˈtär-ē \

Kids Definition of tarry (Entry 2 of 2)

: like or covered with tar tarry smoke tarry boots

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tarry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tarry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tarry

Spanish Central: Translation of tarry

Nglish: Translation of tarry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tarry for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tarry

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!