Definition of coal tar in US English:

coal tar


  • A thick black liquid produced by the destructive distillation of bituminous coal. It contains benzene, naphthalene, phenols, aniline, and many other organic chemicals.

    • ‘Derived chiefly from petroleum and coal tar, aromatic hydrocarbons tend to be reactive.’
    • ‘All of the so-called coal tar or synthetic dyes are derivatives of benzene, an important organic compound capable of combining in an infinite number of ways with radicals and elements to form complex compounds.’
    • ‘Common aromatic compounds other than benzene include toluene, naphthalene, and anthracene, all of which are present in coal tar or creosote.’
    • ‘Shampoos with coal tar may be used three times a week.’
    • ‘Anti-dandruff shampoos containing coal tar, pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid or selenium sulfide can be used as advised by a specialist.’
    • ‘Coal tar and soot were implicated in the elevated skin cancer incidence found in the refining, shale oil, and coal tar industries in the late nineteenth century.’
    • ‘The first detailed studies involved applying coal tar to the skin of animals.’
    • ‘This form of creosote, a mixture of chemicals created by distilling coal tar, is toxic in large amounts or after extended exposure.’
    • ‘Now we can move forward from 1919 to the 1930s, when a team of scientists at the University of Wisconsin and another team at the University of Tokyo made the observation that coal tar causes skin cancer.’
    • ‘Because coal tar is messy and malodorous and can stain clothing, nighttime application is recommended.’
    • ‘For years, people afflicted with the itchy skin condition used stinky coal tar derivatives to alleviate their symptoms.’
    • ‘But coal tar and petroleum are not the only source for pitch.’
    • ‘Creosote, a derivative of coal tar that became an important wood treatment in the late 1800s and early 1900s, is now banned in some states because it contains many carcinogens and toxins.’
    • ‘Seborrhoeic eczema may be treated with creams or shampoos which contain anti-fungal medication or compounds containing selenium or coal tar are often effective.’
    • ‘One ingredient, coal tar, is a known or suspected human carcinogen.’
    • ‘Exposure of mice to the combination of UV rays and coal tar produced skin tumors in only 3 months.’
    • ‘The former site is a vacant former industrial site, contaminated with coal tar and other industrial by-products.’
    • ‘The only non-sugar sweetener at present licensed for use in most countries is saccharin, a synthetic substance made from coal tar.’
    • ‘These compounds once came from the distillation of coal tar, and the dyes are still known as coal-tar dyes.’
    • ‘Bath additives containing coal tar are particularly helpful in the treatment of psoriasis, although some people do not like the smell.’


coal tar

/ˈkoʊl ˌtɑr//ˈkōl ˌtär/