|1.||dentistry a hard crusty deposit on the teeth, consisting of food, cellular debris, and mineral salts|
|2.||Also called: argol a brownish-red substance consisting mainly of potassium hydrogen tartrate, present in grape juice and deposited during the fermentation of wine|
|[C14: from Medieval Latin tartarum, from Medieval Greek tartaron]|
Irish soldier (shouting from within the brush): I've captured one of the enemy.Tartar sauce is first recorded 1855, from Fr. sauce tartare.
Captain: Excellent! Bring him here.
Soldier: He won't come.
Captain: Well, then, you come here.
Soldier: I would, but he won't let me.
tartar tar·tar (tär'tər)
A hard, yellowish deposit on the teeth, consisting of organic secretions and food particles deposited in various salts, such as calcium carbonate. Also called dental calculus.
|tartar (tär'tər) Pronunciation Key
catch a Tartar
Seek out something or someone that turns out to be unexpectedly unpleasant or formidable, as in Now that she finally agreed to meet with you, you just might find that you've caught a Tartar. In this term, Tartar signifies a difficult or sometimes violent individual, referring to Turkic and Mongolian invaders of Asia in the Middle Ages. [Mid-1600s]