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tar baby

Syllabification: tar ba·by

Definition of tar baby in English:

noun

informal
A difficult problem that is only aggravated by attempts to solve it.
Example sentences
  • What makes their revolution even more unlikely is that they have collectively picked up the two ‘tar babies’ of American swimming - club support/development and governance.
  • I don't know how we would have let go of that tar baby once we had grabbed hold of it.
  • Yes, this is the enigmatic legacy of the 1960s, that tar baby of American cultural politics.

Origin

with allusion to the doll smeared with tar as a trap for Brer Rabbit, in J. C. Harris's Uncle Remus.

Definition of tar baby in:

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