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.
- coal-tar, adjective
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British Dictionary definitions for coal tar
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
Scientific definitions for coal tar
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.
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