or tar pit
- seepage of natural tar or asphalt, especially an accumulation that has acted as a natural trap into which animals have fallen and sunk and had their bones preserved.
Origin of tarpit
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- An accumulation of natural tar or asphalt at the Earth's surface, especially one that traps animals and preserves their hard parts. Tar pits form when petroleum in subterranean petroleum-bearing rocks oozes up to the surface. As it rises, the petroleum loses its volatile components, forming a thick tar or asphalt deposit.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.