- a thick, black, viscid liquid formed during the distillation of coal, that upon further distillation yields compounds, as benzene, anthracene, and phenol, from which are derived a large number of dyes, drugs, and other synthetic compounds, and that yields a final residuum (coal-tar pitch), which is used chiefly in making pavements.
Origin of coal tar
First recorded in 1775–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a residue left by the distillation of coal tar: a mixture of hydrocarbons and finely divided carbon used as a binder for fuel briquettes, road surfaces, and carbon electrodes
- a black tar, produced by the distillation of bituminous coal, that can be further distilled to yield benzene, toluene, xylene, anthracene, phenol, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- A viscous black liquid containing numerous organic compounds that is obtained by the destructive distillation of coal and that has many uses including as raw material for many dyes, drugs, and paints.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- A thick, sticky, black liquid obtained through the destructive distillation (heating in the absence of air) of coal. It is used as a source of many organic compounds, such as benzene, naphthalene, and phenols, which are used in dyes, drugs, and other compounds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.