Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: tartar, tàrtar, and tårtar



  • IPA(key): /ˈtɑː(ɹ)tə(ɹ)/

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French Tartaire, from Medieval Latin Tartarus (Tartar, Mongol), from Old Turkic [script needed] (Tatar), spelling influenced by Latin Tartarus (Hell (in Greek mythology)), from Ancient Greek Τάρταρος (Tártaros).


Tartar (plural Tartars)

  1. Alternative spelling of Tatar
  2. A member of the various tribes and their descendants of Tartary, such as Turks, Mongols and Manchus.
    • 1871, Marco Polo, Henry Yule (translator), The Travels of Marco Polo, book 1, chapter 13:
      Persia is a great country, which was in old times very illustrious and powerful; but now the Tartars have wasted and destroyed it.
  3. (figuratively, dated) A person of a keen, irritable temper.
  4. (figuratively) A rough or violent event.
    • 2003, Erik Larson, “Alone”, in The Devil in the White City, Vintage Books, page 106:
      I haven't escaped sickness all my life to get off easily now. [] I knew when my turn came, it would be a Tartar.


Tartar (comparative more Tartar, superlative most Tartar)

  1. Of or relating to the people or culture of Tartars.
    Tartar customs

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Armenian Թարթառ (Tʿartʿaṙ).

English Wikipedia has an article on:
English Wikipedia has an article on:

Proper noun[edit]


  1. One of the tributary rivers of the Kura, flowing through Artsakh and Azerbaijan
  2. A town in Azerbaijan located on this river

Middle French[edit]


Old French Tartar, from Medieval Latin Tartarus, alteration of Tatar, from a Turkic name. Influenced by Tartarus (primeval god, underworld).


Tartar m (plural Tartars)

  1. Tartar (member of various Turkic tribes)


  • French: Tartare


  • Tartar on Dictionnaire du Moyen Français (1330–1500) (in French)