tar

1
[ tahr ]
/ tɑr /

noun

any of various dark-colored viscid products obtained by the destructive distillation of certain organic substances, as coal or wood.
coal-tar pitch.
smoke solids or components: cigarette tar.

verb (used with object), tarred, tar·ring.

to smear or cover with or as if with tar.

adjective

of or characteristic of tar.
covered or smeared with tar; tarred.

Idioms

Origin of tar

1
before 900; (noun) Middle English tarr(e), ter(re), Old English teru; cognate with Dutch, German teer, Old Norse tjara; akin to tree; (v.) Middle English terren, Old English tierwian, derivative of the noun

Related forms

non·tarred, adjectiveun·tarred, adjective

Definition for tar (2 of 2)

tar

2
[ tahr ]
/ tɑr /

noun Informal.

a sailor.

Origin of tar

2
First recorded in 1740–50; perhaps short for tarpaulin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tar

British Dictionary definitions for tar (1 of 2)

tar

1
/ (tɑː) /

noun

any of various dark viscid substances obtained by the destructive distillation of organic matter such as coal, wood, or peat
another name for coal tar

verb tars, tarring or tarred (tr)

to coat with tar
tar and feather to punish by smearing tar and feathers over (someone)
tarred with the same brush regarded as having the same faults

Derived Forms

tarry, adjectivetarriness, noun

Word Origin for tar

Old English teoru; related to Old Frisian tera, Old Norse tjara, Middle Low German tere tar, Gothic triu tree

British Dictionary definitions for tar (2 of 2)

tar

2
/ (tɑː) /

noun

an informal word for seaman

Word Origin for tar

C17: short for tarpaulin
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

Science definitions for tar

tar

[ tär ]

A dark, oily, viscous material, consisting mainly of hydrocarbons, produced by the destructive distillation of organic substances such as wood, coal, or peat.
See coal tar.
A solid, sticky substance that remains when tobacco is burned. It accumulates in the lungs of smokers and is considered carcinogenic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with tar

tar


In addition to the idiom beginning with tar

  • tar and feather

also see:

  • beat the living daylights (tar) out of
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.