There are 2 main definitions of tar in English:

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tar1

Line breaks: tar
Pronunciation: /tɑː
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
1A dark, thick flammable liquid distilled from wood or coal, consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons, resins, alcohols, and other compounds. It is used in road-making and for coating and preserving timber.
Example sentences
  • Depending on the type and location of the flashings, roofing tar or silicone or butyl rubber sealants can be used to seal small cracks and gaps.
  • Using oils, acrylics, resin and tar on both wood and canvas support, the work reflects industrial, urban, suburban and natural views.
  • For roofs this is generally done by applying a coating such as tar, acrylic, silicone or rubberized paint.
1.1A substance resembling tar, formed by burning tobacco or other material: [in combination]: high-tar cigarettes
More example sentences
  • The ratio of tar to nicotine produced in the tobacco smoke of low tar cigarettes is in fact closely similar to that of conventional cigarettes.
  • Since 1980, members of the coalition have tried to persuade tobacco companies to limit the yields of tar and nicotine in cigarettes sold in developing countries and to add health warnings on their packaging.
  • Although triggers such as tobacco tar and radioactive radon gas are known to be linked to lung cancer, little is understood of the genetic damage that causes the disease.

verb (tars, tarring, tarred)

[with object] (usually as adjective tarred) Back to top  
Cover (something) with tar: a newly tarred road
More example sentences
  • The inside of the bomb is tarred to keep the explosive away from the metal on the inside of the bomb.
  • Proper tarred roads should be built in rural areas and bus facilities made available in every nook and corner of the State.
  • He said although the distance being tarred may not be very long, its significance to the local economy is immense.

Origin

Old English teru, teoru, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch teer, German Teer, and perhaps ultimately to tree.

More
  • In the past tar was mainly distilled from wood, and the word tar may ultimately be related to tree. Tar or Jack tar has been a name for a sailor since the 17th century. It is perhaps an abbreviation of tarpaulin (early 17th century), which was also a nickname for a sailor. As well as being the name of a waterproof cloth of tarred canvas, a tarpaulin was a kind of hat worn by sailors. The expression tar with the same brush comes originally from the practice of shepherds using tar to cover any wounds suffered by their sheep, to prevent infection.( see half). To tar and feather someone was to smear them with tar and then cover them with feathers as a punishment. The practice was introduced into Britain in 1198, when Richard I decreed that it should be the punishment for members of the navy found guilty of theft. Since then it has sometimes been inflicted by a mob on an unpopular individual, notably against customs officials in the War of American Independence ( 1775–83), and by the IRA against people suspected of collaborating with the British.

Phrases

beat (or whale) the tar out of

1
North American informal Beat or thrash severely.
Example sentences
  • There's a technique I'm going to show you that will make it sound and look like you two are whaling the tar out of each other, but you'll be unharmed… if you do it correctly.
  • He looks exactly like her ex, he used to beat the tar out of her.
  • And as fun as it is to watch his emotion on the lanes, if I were on the approach listening to him beat the tar out of me, it would be all I could do to keep my composure and not knock those shades fight off his face.

tar and feather

2
Smear with tar and then cover with feathers as a punishment: a group of sailors had just stripped, tarred, and feathered a man
More example sentences
  • I am not talking about some piffling scheme to tar and feather wrong 'uns, or force them to walk up and down Petergate wearing sandwich boards listing their wrongdoings.
  • In the mid-1750s, people would get so outraged at such injustices they would storm the governor's mansion, tar and feather him, loot his estate and then burn his house down.
  • Whilst my views may represent a certain amount of leftist thought, they are not saying ‘Let's murder the government, lynch the Monarchy and tar and feather local police forces’.

tar people with the same brush

3
Consider certain people to have the same faults: they’re all tarred with the same brush, that family
More example sentences
  • When tarring people with the same brush is official government policy, then its going to be difficult to discourage people from doing likewise.
  • Being human, it is all too easy to tar people with the same brush and see the religion as a threat.
  • Like I said in another forum, its all well and good tarring people with the same brush, but beware that you don't end up attacking genuinely good people in the process.

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There are 2 main definitions of tar in English:

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tar2

Line breaks: tar
Pronunciation: /tɑː
 
/

noun

informal , dated
A sailor.
Example sentences
  • Earlier though, someone shouts the word ‘Avast!’ at a bunch of mutinous tars and everyone just giggles.’
  • To the tars of Victoria's navy, especially those returning from the farthest flung corners of the empire, the Azores were the gateway to home.
  • He is known to have had an eye for the ladies; he also could down a good tipple with the best of the tars.

Origin

mid 17th century: perhaps an abbreviation of tarpaulin, also used as a nickname for a sailor at this time.

More
  • In the past tar was mainly distilled from wood, and the word tar may ultimately be related to tree. Tar or Jack tar has been a name for a sailor since the 17th century. It is perhaps an abbreviation of tarpaulin (early 17th century), which was also a nickname for a sailor. As well as being the name of a waterproof cloth of tarred canvas, a tarpaulin was a kind of hat worn by sailors. The expression tar with the same brush comes originally from the practice of shepherds using tar to cover any wounds suffered by their sheep, to prevent infection.( see half). To tar and feather someone was to smear them with tar and then cover them with feathers as a punishment. The practice was introduced into Britain in 1198, when Richard I decreed that it should be the punishment for members of the navy found guilty of theft. Since then it has sometimes been inflicted by a mob on an unpopular individual, notably against customs officials in the War of American Independence ( 1775–83), and by the IRA against people suspected of collaborating with the British.

Definition of tar in:

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