1 of 2


: agreeably sharp or acid to the taste
a tart apple
: marked by a biting, acrimonious, or cutting quality
a tart rejoinder
tartish adjective
tartly adverb
tartness noun


2 of 2


: a dish baked in a pastry shell : pie: such as
: a small pie or pastry shell without a top containing jelly, custard, or fruit
: a small pie made of pastry folded over a filling
[earlier slang, girlfriend, probably short for jam tart, rhyming slang for sweetheart]
: a promiscuous woman : a woman who has many sexual partners

Example Sentences

Adjective The wine is rather tart. I didn't add enough sugar to the lemonade, and now it's way too tart. Noun responded to the heckler with a tart comeback
Recent Examples on the Web
The oooweee-tart flavor busts up the boredom of snacking on nuts without piling on the sugar. Men's Health, 10 Jan. 2023 Beneath it, the flesh is flooded with juice, but too tart to eat straight. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, 4 Jan. 2023 But the tart in-jokes and absurdity of the script, its winky acknowledgment of all the tropes gone before it, feels like a delirious cap on recent genre hits like Barbarian and Malignant. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 4 Jan. 2023 Pink Me Up starts with a burst of champagne followed by a sweet-tart blend of blackcurrant and bergamot. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 20 Dec. 2022 Now perfectly tart Pink Lady and Honeycrisp apples are recipe staples. Daniel Engber, The Atlantic, 24 Nov. 2022 Chicory Salad with Persimmons, Pomegranates, and Walnuts Fuyu persimmons and pomegranates add autumn color and a sweet-tart punch to bitter chicories (frisée and radicchio). Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, 10 Nov. 2022 And the second is tamarind chutney, a sweet-tart punch of flavor that acts like several ingredients in one, balancing the richness of the chicken with bright acid and taming the spices. Christopher Kimball, USA TODAY, 18 Oct. 2022 Does your mouth water at the thought of tart, juicy candy? Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 12 Oct. 2022
Sour, with soft tangerine notes, finishes with a good tart. Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press, 18 Jan. 2023 Rather than simply slapping some slices between two pieces of bread with a dab of mustard or mayo, why not dice it up and use it as a filing for an elegant tart? Tribune News Service, cleveland, 8 Apr. 2021 Indulge in a bowl of leftover matzo ball soup alongside a big slice of this fennel tomato tart. Magdalena O'neal, Sunset Magazine, 6 Dec. 2022 This simple, festive tart made with the star of the cheese tray at least gestures toward portion control. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, 11 Nov. 2022 Explaining the magic of peri-peri chicken Peri-peri sauce is made by fermenting African bird's eye chiles in garlic, lemon and other spices to create a unique flavor profile: spicy, tangy, citrus-tart and succulent. Ruvani De Silva, Chron, 3 Nov. 2022 My recommendation: Stay close to the kitchen when this tart is baking. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, 9 Nov. 2022 This tart also works well as a template for other berries, like blueberry, blackberry and raspberry. Ben Mims, Los Angeles Times, 25 Sep. 2022 With a decadent cream filling and a touch of tart from lime juice and zest, this recipe comes together quickly. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History



Middle English, from Old English teart sharp, severe; akin to Middle High German traz spite


Middle English tarte, from Anglo-French

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tart was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near tart

Cite this Entry

“Tart.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tart. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: pleasantly sharp or sour to the taste
: having a sharp or biting quality
a tart voice
tartly adverb
tartness noun


2 of 2 noun
: a small pie or pastry shell containing jelly, custard, or fruit

More from Merriam-Webster on tart

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