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  1. any of various vetches, especially Vicia sativa.
  2. the seed of a vetch.
  3. Bible. a noxious weed, probably the darnel.

Origin of tare1

1300–50; Middle English: vetch; akin to Dutch tarwe wheat


  1. the weight of the wrapping, receptacle, or conveyance containing goods.
  2. a deduction from the gross weight to allow for this.
  3. the weight of a vehicle without cargo, passengers, etc.
  4. a counterweight used in chemical analysis to balance the weight of a container.
  5. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter T.
verb (used with object), tared, tar·ing.
  1. to ascertain, note, or allow for the tare of.

Origin of tare2

1480–90; < Middle French (equivalent to Medieval Latin, Italian, Provençal, Spanish, Portuguese tara, Spanish atara) ≪ Arabic ṭarḥah what one throws away, derivative of ṭaraḥa to throw away


verb Archaic.
  1. simple past tense and past participle of tear2.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tares

Historical Examples

  • Which is the wheat and which the tares, that must be garnered or sifted from our loves?

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • She crawled about on her knees as she pulled up the tares and threw them into a basket.

  • I mix the tares when they are sown with a third of white pease and a third of oats.

  • Compare the lesson taught in the Parable of the Tares, Matt.

    Jesus the Christ

    James Edward Talmage

  • Then shall the wheat be segregated from the tares, and the sheep divided from the goats.

    Jesus the Christ

    James Edward Talmage

British Dictionary definitions for tares


  1. any of various vetch plants, such as Vicia hirsuta (hairy tare) of Eurasia and N Africa
  2. the seed of any of these plants
  3. Bible a troublesome weed, thought to be the darnel

Word Origin

C14: of unknown origin


  1. the weight of the wrapping or container in which goods are packed
  2. a deduction from gross weight to compensate for this
  3. the weight of a vehicle without its cargo, passengers, etc
  4. an empty container used as a counterbalance in determining net weight
  1. (tr) to weigh (a package, etc) in order to calculate the amount of tare

Word Origin

C15: from Old French: waste, from Medieval Latin tara, from Arabic tarhah something discarded, from taraha to reject
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

Word Origin and History for tares



"kind of fodder plant, vetch," early 14c., perhaps cognate with Middle Dutch tarwe "wheat," from Proto-Germanic *tarwo, cognate with Breton draok, Welsh drewg "darnel," Sanskrit durva "a kind of millet grass," Greek darata, daratos "bread," Lithuanian dirva "a wheat-field." Used in 2nd Wyclif version (1388) of Matt. xxiii:25 to render Greek zizania as a weed among corn (earlier darnel and cockle had been used in this place); hence figurative use for "something noxious sown among something good" (1711).



"difference between gross and net weight," late 15c., from Middle French tare "wastage in goods, deficiency, imperfection" (15c.), from Italian tara, from Arabic tarah, literally "thing deducted or rejected," from taraha "to reject."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper