English Dictionary

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tar1 (tɑː Pronunciation for tar1



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


Word forms:  tars,  tarring,  tarred
  1. to coat with tar
  2. See tar and feather

  3. See tarred with the same brush

Derived Forms

ˈtarry adjective
ˈtarriness noun

Word Origin

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

tar2 (tɑː Pronunciation for tar2



  1. an informal word for seaman

Word Origin

C17: short for tarpaulin

Translations for 'tar'

  • British English: tar Tar is a thick black sticky substance that is used especially for making roads. NOUNThe oil has hardened to tar.
  • Brazilian Portuguese: piche
  • Chinese: 沥青沥瀝青
  • European Spanish: alquitrán
  • French: goudron
  • German: Teer
  • Italian: catrame
  • Japanese: タール
  • Korean: 타르
  • Portuguese: piche
  • Spanish: alquitrán

Example Sentences Including 'tar'

All the royal connections seemed to tar hunting again with elitism.
Times, Sunday Times (2004)
But advertising campaigns included the commission's yield figures for tar and nicotine, to add credibility.
British Medical Journal (2002)
Coal tar was combined with the essential fatty acids Piet had first identified from banana skins.
Courier, Sunday Mail (2004)
No, they've got to find the one or two bad apples in the business and tar and feather the rest of us with them.
Pickard, Nancy No Body
Oil was discovered here a century ago, in subterranean pools of tar.
Independent (1998)
Sharpe gripped the gunwale, sticky with its coating of tar.
Bernard Cornwell SHARPE'S PREY (2002)
She'd stopped smoking, which meant I didn't have to listen to the tar bubbling in the stem of those plastic holders she used to use.
Robert Wilson A DARKENING STAIN (2002)
They were hand-rolled and I remember that they used to taste like tar.
MacNeill, Alastair The Devil's Door
Two years ago, a Trinidadian man arrived without a guide and within minutes was up to his neck in tar.
Toronto Sun (2003)


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