Main definitions of tartar in US English:

: tartar1Tartar2

tartar1

noun

  • 1A hard calcified deposit that forms on the teeth and contributes to their decay.

    • ‘This prevents a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth.’
    • ‘The toothbrush is no longer useful because the tartar is closely attached to the teeth.’
    • ‘If I thought my visit today would be any less unpleasant (all the tartar having been removed last time), I was somewhat disappointed.’
    • ‘When plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth for too long, it collects close to the gums and turns into a hard substance called tartar.’
    • ‘Tooth decay, fillings and tartar build-up can also all contribute to discolouration.’
    1. 1.1 A deposit of impure potassium hydrogen tartrate formed during the fermentation of wine.
      • ‘Add the tartar and bicarbonate of soda, the sugar and the milk soured with lemon juice.’

Origin

Late Middle English: via medieval Latin from medieval Greek tartaron, of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

tartar

/ˈtɑrdər//ˈtärdər/

Main definitions of tartar in US English:

: tartar1Tartar2

Tartar2

noun

  • 1A member of the combined forces of central Asian peoples, including Mongols and Turks, who under the leadership of Genghis Khan conquered much of Asia and eastern Europe in the early 13th century, and under Tamerlane (14th century) established an empire with its capital at Samarkand.

    See also Tatar
    • ‘After the invasion of Tartars and the Fall of Baghdad, the centre of calligraphy moved over to Iran where it is still alive with all its beauty and delicacy.’
    • ‘At different times Stalin conducted mass arrests of Poles, Balts, Chechens, Tartars and on the eve of his death - Jews.’
    • ‘Saracens themselves, and Italians, and Russians, were attentive to the multitudes of Mongols and Tartars.’
    • ‘Then his army drove the Tartars beyond the Danube.’
    • ‘Romania's new minorities included substantial communities of Ukrainians, Bulgarians, gypsies, Germans, Hungarians, Tartars, Turks, and Jews.’
    • ‘That computers still can't fathom some of the Tartar's famous combinations will come as a relief to many.’
    • ‘In the 14th century during a siege of Kaffa, which is now the Ukraine, the Tartars catapulted bodies infected with the plague over the town walls.’
    • ‘The vengeful Tartars stage a surprise night raid on Temujin's camp.’
    • ‘He drew comparisons between democracy and the Yasig laws of the Tartars as being man-made laws that were overshadowing God's laws.’
    • ‘In 1346, Caffa was under siege by the Tartars who catapulted plague-ridden corpses over the city walls in an effort to flush out the inhabitants.’
    • ‘The Tartars catapulted bodies infected with plague into Kaffa in the Crimea in 1346 at the end of a three year siege’
    • ‘He fought against the Poles and the Turks and the Tartars, returning to Scotland in 1666.’
    • ‘His dramatic vocal colorations leave no one in doubt that as Emperor of the Tartars he can command an army.’
    • ‘This stratagem was employed successfully both by the Tartars against the Genoese in the Crimean War of 1346, and in the Russo-Swedish Wars of 1710.’
    • ‘In the 14th century, Tartars hurled plague-infected bodies at their enemies.’
    • ‘Also, the Tartars carried the plague closer to Europe and into other trading ports after sieges in Asia.’
    • ‘The Tartars used such a method against the Genoese in Crimea in 1346 and the fleeing Genoese tragically spread the black plague from Asia to Europe.’
    • ‘In 1687 and 1698, he launched two disastrous campaigns against the Crimean Tartars.’
    • ‘The Tartars from the north built a city near this location as early as the tenth century.’
    • ‘It is a country ravaged by invasion from the Tartars, famine, paganism and brutal violence.’
    1. 1.1 A harsh, fierce, or intractable person.
      ‘“Merciful God! but you're a tartar, miss!” said the sheriff, ruefully’
      • ‘We called it right here last week when we said Sligo had drawn a real tartar in Donegal, and so it transpired at Ballybofey on Sunday.’
      • ‘He was not such a tartar after all.’
      • ‘The Dromard No.14 is indeed a fine footballer but caught a real tartar in Knockbeg full-back Paddy Kelly, whose tackling, harrying and blocking continuously frustrated the Longford ace.’
      • ‘You know I am a tartar when it comes to your lord's devotion to me.’
      • ‘However he caught a tartar in the form of Sandyhill Jo 9 / 2.’
      • ‘John Wiltshire really caught a tartar in King but still managed to keep him scoreless from play.’
      • ‘Sligo have drawn a bit of a tartar in Donegal for the GAA qualifiers next weekend.’
      • ‘I thought that she was a tartar at the beginning of the play.’

Origin

From Old French Tartare or medieval Latin Tartarus, alteration (influenced by Tartarus) of Tatar.

Pronunciation

Tartar

/ˈtɑrdər//ˈtärdər/