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

Examples of tartar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Start with the refreshing tuna tartar, served on avocado with ponzu, with bright chunks of fish, or wade right into what The Amalfi Llama excels at: the meat. Connie Ogle, Miami Herald, 29 Jan. 2024 Several fish sandwiches have found their way onto the Jimmy Pearls menu, from Skate to Ma’s Catch, but the favorite is Uncle Gene’s fish sandwich: a local catch of the day dressed in field pea slaw and Jimmy sauce, a bright sweet-potato tartar with chow chow. Emiene Wright, Charlotte Observer, 24 Jan. 2024 The natural ingredients, such as parsley and spearmint, work together to reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar in your dog's mouth. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 4 July 2023 On weekends, partiers pack in for live music and hearty pub grub—order a pie or the fish and chips with dill tartar and mint mushy peas. Ann Marie McQueen, Condé Nast Traveler, 28 Nov. 2023 Plaque, tartar and bacteria will start to build up during this stage. Ashlyn Messier, Fox News, 25 Nov. 2023 During one feast on the ship, we're served scallops with celery root purée, reindeer tartar and elk bone marrow, and ice cream made with Norway's legendary brown cheese. Rick Jordan, Condé Nast Traveler, 28 July 2023 Further, these chews help reduce plaque build-up and tartar while promoting healthy gums and teeth. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 9 July 2023 Remember, dental chews not only freshen breath but also help prevent tartar buildup and promote healthier gums. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 12 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tartar.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near tartar

Cite this Entry

“Tartar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tartar. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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)

More from Merriam-Webster on tartar

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