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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
coal tar
▪ coal tar soap
▪ A naked man covered in tar and soot slithered by in pursuit of three young, giggling girls.
▪ His facial scars radiating ridges pigmented with tar or carbon pictured some many-legged mutant spider.
▪ Rating cigarettes by tar and nicotine content, much as gasoline is rated by octane levels.
▪ The amount of tar in cigarettes is also important but less so than the number smoked or duration of smoking.
▪ The clean smell of pine tar rose in the air, and Sam began counting rings.
▪ Kleider has been tarred by recent business scandals.
▪ But he was tarred with Estabrook's guilt.
▪ Candles and tarred kindling, and spices, Carrie thought, wrinkling her nose.
▪ I was tarred with the same brush, to a certain extent.
▪ Ralph even tarred the roof gutters and fixed a leak by the chimney.
▪ Suspected abolitionists were tarred, feathered, and run out of town; antislavery literature was burned.
▪ This is not an attempt to tar all forms of Centralism with the same brush.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Tar \Tar\, n. [Abbrev. from tarpaulin.] A sailor; a seaman. [Colloq.]


Tar \Tar\, n. [OE. terre, tarre, AS. teru, teoru; akin to D. teer, G. teer, theer, Icel. tjara, Sw. tj["a]ra, Dan. ti[ae]re, and to E. tree. [root]63. See Tree.] A thick, black, viscous liquid obtained by the distillation of wood, coal, etc., and having a varied composition according to the temperature and material employed in obtaining it. Coal tar. See in the Vocabulary. Mineral tar (Min.), a kind of soft native bitumen. Tar board, a strong quality of millboard made from junk and old tarred rope. --Knight. Tar water.

  1. A cold infusion of tar in water, used as a medicine.

  2. The ammoniacal water of gas works.

    Wood tar, tar obtained from wood. It is usually obtained by the distillation of the wood of the pine, spruce, or fir, and is used in varnishes, cements, and to render ropes, oakum, etc., impervious to water.


Tar \Tar\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tarred; p. pr. & vb. n. Tarring.] To smear with tar, or as with tar; as, to tar ropes; to tar cloth.

To tar and feather a person. See under Feather, v. t.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

a viscous liquid, Old English teoru, teru "tar, bitumen, resin, gum," literally "the pitch of (certain kinds of) trees," from Proto-Germanic *terwo- (cognates: Old Norse tjara, Old Frisian tera, Middle Dutch tar, Dutch teer, German Teer), probably a derivation of *trewo-, from PIE *derw-, variant of root *deru-, *dreu- in its sense "wood, tree" (see tree (n.)).\n

\nTar baby "a sticky problem," also a derogatory term for "black person," is from an 1881 "Uncle Remus" story by Joel Chandler Harris. Tarheel for "North Carolina resident" first recorded 1864, probably from the gummy resin of pine woods. Tar water, an infusion of tar in cold water, was popular as a remedy from c.1740 through late 18c.


also Jack Tar, "sailor," 1670s, probably a special use of tar (n.1), which stuff was a staple for waterproofing aboard old ships (sailors also being jocularly called knights of the tarbrush); or possibly a shortened form of tarpaulin, which was recorded as a nickname for a sailor in 1640s, from the tarpaulin garments they wore.


late Old English, "to smear with tar," from tar (n.1). To tar and feather (1769) was famously a mob action in America in Revolutionary times (used by both sides) and several decades thereafter. The punishment itself first is found in an ordinance of Richard I (1189) as the penalty in the Crusader navy for theft. Among other applications over the years was its use in 1623 by a bishop on "a party of incontinent friars and nuns" [OED], but the verbal phrase is not attested until 18c. Related: Tarred; tarring.


Etymology 1 n. 1 (context uncountable English) A black, oily, sticky, viscous substance, consisting mainly of hydrocarbons derived from organic materials such as wood, peat, or coal. 2 coal tar. 3 (context uncountable English) A solid residual byproduct of tobacco smoke. 4 (context slang dated English) A sailor, because of their tarpaulin clothes. Also Jack Tar. 5 black tar, a form of heroin vb. 1 (context transitive English) To coat with tar. 2 (context transitive English) To besmirch. Etymology 2

n. 1 (context computing English) A computer program for archiving files, common on Unix. 2 (context computing English) A file produced by such a program. vb. (context computing English) To create a tar archive. Etymology 3

alt. (context musical instruments English) a Persian long-necked, waisted instrument, shared by many cultures and countries in the Middle East and the Caucasus n. (context musical instruments English) a Persian long-necked, waisted instrument, shared by many cultures and countries in the Middle East and the Caucasus

  1. n. any of various dark heavy viscid substances obtained as a residue [syn: pitch]

  2. a man who serves as a sailor [syn: mariner, seaman, Jack-tar, Jack, old salt, seafarer, gob, sea dog]

  3. [also: tarring, tarred]

  1. v. coat with tar; "tar the roof"; "tar the roads"

  2. [also: tarring, tarred]

Tar (song)

"Tar" is the debut single by the British pop group Visage, released in 1979.

Tar (band)

Tar was an American post-hardcore band, formed in 1988 in Chicago, Illinois. Throughout their career they released four studio albums, two extended plays, and a number of singles before breaking up in 1995. They were known for their dry sense of humor.

Tar (Azerbaijani instrument)

Craftsmanship and performance of the tar and the skills related to this tradition play a significant role in shaping the cultural identity of Azerbaijanis. The Tar is a long-necked plucked lute, traditionally crafted and performed in communities throughout Azerbaijan and Iran. Tar features alone or with other instruments in numerous traditional musical styles. It also considered by many to be the country’s leading musical instrument.

In 2012 art of Azerbaijani craftsmanship and performance art of the tar was added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Tar (computing)

In computing, tar is a computer software utility for collecting many files into one archive file, often referred to as a tarball, for distribution or backup purposes. The name is derived from (t)ape (ar)chive, as it was originally developed to write data to sequential I/O devices with no file system of their own. The archive data sets created by tar contain various file system parameters, such as name, time stamps, ownership, file access permissions, and directory organization. The command line utility was first introduced in the seventh edition of unix (v7) in January 1979, replacing the tp program. The file structure to store this information was later standardized in POSIX.1-1988 and later POSIX.1-2001. and became a format supported by most modern file archiving systems.


Tar is a black mixture of hydrocarbons and free carbon obtained from a wide variety of organic materials through destructive distillation. Tar can be produced from coal, wood, petroleum, or peat. Production and trade in pine-derived tar was a major contributor in the economies of Northern Europe and Colonial America. Its main use was in preserving wooden vessels against rot. The largest user was the Royal Navy. Demand for tar declined with the advent of iron and steel ships.

Tar-like products can also be produced from other forms of organic matter, such as peat. Mineral products resembling tar can be produced from fossil hydrocarbons, such as petroleum. Coal tar is produced from coal as a byproduct of coke production. Bitumen is a term used for natural deposits of oil "tar", such as at the La Brea Tar Pits.

Tar (tobacco residue)

Tar is the common name for the resinous, partially combusted particulate matter produced by the burning of tobacco and other plant material in the act of smoking. Tar is toxic and damages the smoker's lungs over time through various biochemical and mechanical processes. Tar also damages the mouth by rotting and blackening teeth, damaging gums, and desensitizing taste buds. Tar includes the majority of mutagenic and carcinogenic agents in tobacco smoke. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), for example, are genotoxic via epoxidation.

There is a common misconception that the tar in cigarettes is equivalent to the tar used on roads. As a result of this, cigarette companies in the United States, when prompted to give tar/ nicotine ratings for cigarettes, usually use "tar," in quotation marks, to indicate that it is not the road surface component. Tar is occasionally referred to as an acronym for total aerosol residue, a backronym coined in the mid-1960s.

Tar, when in the lungs, coats the cilia causing them to stop working and eventually die, causing such conditions as lung cancer as the toxic particles in tobacco smoke are no longer trapped by the cilia but enter the alveoli directly. Thus, the alveoli cannot come through with the process that is called ‘gas exchange’ which is the cause of rough breathing.

The tar from cigarette smoke is similar to that of marijuana smoke.

Tar (drum)

A Tar is a single-headed frame drum of Turkish origin, but is commonly played in North Africa and the Middle East.

This instrument has been depicted in images from Turkish shrines that date to 6000 BC. Making the Tar( frame drum) one of the most ancient musical instruments.

The tar is held mainly with one hand, although the playing hand can also play and supports the drum while playing (basically the other hand plays the drum). It has an open tone, and is often either played for accompaniment to other instruments or in tar ensembles.

Frame drums are common throughout the world. There are tar, bendir, bodhran, deff, duff, and many others. Many Native American cultures use the frame drum in ceremony and celebration. These drums seem simple, but are capable of great nuance and sophistication.

Tar (disambiguation)

Tar is a viscous organic black liquid.

Tar or TAR may also refer to:

Tar (string instrument)

Tar is a Persian long-necked, waisted instrument, shared by many cultures and countries like Iran, , Georgia, Republic of Azerbaijan, and other areas near the Caucasus region. The word tār means "string" in Persian, though it might have the same meaning in languages influenced by Persian. This has led some Iranian experts to hold that the Tar must be common among all the Iranian people as well as the territories that are boldly named as " Iranian Cultural Continuum" by the Encyclopædia Iranica.

This is claimed to be the root of the names of the Persian setar and the guitar as well as less widespread instruments such as the dutar and the Indian sitar. Though it was certainly developed in the Persian Empire, the exact region in which it was first made and played in the Persian Empire cannot be confirmed.

Tar is one of the most important musical instruments in Iran and the Caucasus. The formation, compilation, edition, and inheritance of the most authentic and most comprehensive versions of radif are all worked on tar. The general trends of Persian classical music have been deeply influenced by tar players. In 2012 art of Azerbaijani craftsmanship and performance art of the tar was added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Usage examples of "tar".

Right now the only one of us tars actually working was Halle, who was chasing down a pool of vomit sicked up by Pael, the Academician, the only non-Navy personnel on the bridge.

At the foot of the lane, Asey slowed down before swinging on to the main tarred road, and then he put on the hand brake and got out of the car.

The stench of tar, the creak of timbers, the splash of the swell of an ice-cold sea, the incessant rocking all told him he was still a prisoner on the Azhkendi vessel, sailing ever farther away from Astasia by the hour.

With a grunt, he went through to the grog-shop, whence were borne odours of sausage, ale, wine, tar and sweat on gusts of argument, laughter, bawdry and alleged song.

If such punishment were legal, Blu would be the first in line to volunteer to wield the tar brush.

Watcher of the Seals, the Flame of Tar Valon, the Amyrlin Seat, surely the most powerful ruler in the world, lay facedown on her bed and blubbered into her pillows, too tender to don the shift that lay discarded on the floor, certain that when Alviarin returned, the woman would insist on her sitting through the entire interview.

MAY-FLOWER--of Delft Haven-- poor, common-looking ship, hired by common charter-party for coined dollars,--caulked with mere oakum and tar, provisioned with vulgarest biscuit and bacon,--yet what ship Argo or miraculous epic ship, built by the sea gods, was other than a foolish bumbarge in comparison!

MAY-FLOWER--of Delft Haven --poor, common-looking ship, hired by common charter-party for coined dollars,--caulked with mere oakum and tar, provisioned with vulgarest biscuit and bacon,--yet what ship Argo or miraculous epic ship, built by the sea gods, was other than a foolish bumbarge in comparison!

The largest single object in the room was a box, the size of a Vagabond-shack but much more finely wrought, of oak planks cleverly joined together, and caulked at the corners with tar and oakum.

The last of the caulking was carried out the next day so that the entire island seemed to reek of pine tar and wet wool.

They sagged and bowed, water breaching them in gouts and diluting the riverbed, eddying around the feet of the few remaining strikers, coiling like the gas above it, until with a shiver the Gross Tar reknit itself, healing the little rift that had paralysed it and confused its currents.

It looks to me as if he was throwing tar at Cox to keep it from getting on him.

They were rapidly overhauling us when Tars Tarkas cried to me to hasten ahead and discover, if possible, the sanctuary we sought.

The crowd who would have taken boats across the Gross Tar to assault Parliament were defeated by those they were protesting, men and women suddenly rising from their masses and spitting fire, dextrier handlingers wearing the meat of the condemned.

Later, word came from Mitch that a couple of the kids, Stu among them, had been seen whacking the tar out of spaldeens at Dietetic Crescent.