tartar

1 of 2

noun (1)

tar·​tar ˈtär-tər How to pronounce tartar (audio)
1
: an incrustation on the teeth consisting of plaque that has become hardened by the deposition of mineral salts (such as calcium carbonate)
2
: a substance consisting essentially of cream of tartar that is derived from the juice of grapes and deposited in wine casks together with yeast and other suspended matters as a pale or dark reddish crust or sediment
especially : a recrystallized product yielding cream of tartar on further purification

tartar

2 of 2

noun (2)

1
capitalized : a native or inhabitant of Tartary
2
capitalized : tatar sense 2
3
often capitalized : a person of irritable or violent temper
4
: one that proves to be unexpectedly formidable
Tartar adjective
Tartarian adjective

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin tartarum

Noun (2)

Middle English Tartre, from Middle French Tartare, probably from Medieval Latin Tartarus, modification of Persian Tātār — more at tatar

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tartar was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near tartar

Cite this Entry

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

Kids Definition

tartar

1 of 2 noun
tar·​tar ˈtärt-ər How to pronounce tartar (audio)
1
: a substance consisting mostly of cream of tartar that is found in the juice of grapes and is deposited in wine casks as a reddish crust or sediment
2
: a hard crust that forms on the teeth and consists of plaque that has become hardened with mineral salts (as of calcium)

tartar

2 of 2 noun
1
capitalized : a member of any of the chiefly Mongolian peoples who invaded parts of Asia and eastern Europe during the Middle Ages
2
: a person who is often angry or violent

Medical Definition

tartar

noun
tar·​tar ˈtärt-ər How to pronounce tartar (audio)
: an incrustation on the teeth consisting of plaque that has become hardened by the deposition of mineral salts (as calcium carbonate)

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