coal tar

coal tar

noun
a thick, black, viscid liquid formed during the distillation of coal, that upon further distillation yields compounds, as benzene, anthracene, and phenol, from which are derived a large number of dyes, drugs, and other synthetic compounds, and that yields a final residuum (coal-tar pitch) which is used chiefly in making pavements.

Origin:
1775–85

coal-tar, adjective
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Collins
World English Dictionary
coal tar
 
n
a black tar, produced by the distillation of bituminous coal, that can be further distilled to yield benzene, toluene, xylene, anthracene, phenol, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

coal tar n.
A viscous black liquid containing numerous organic compounds that is obtained by the destructive distillation of coal and that has many uses including as raw material for many dyes, drugs, and paints.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
coal tar  
A thick, sticky, black liquid obtained through the destructive distillation (heating in the absence of air) of coal. It is used as a source of many organic compounds, such as benzene, naphthalene, and phenols, which are used in dyes, drugs, and other compounds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

coal tar

principal liquid product resulting from the carbonization of coal, i.e., the heating of coal in the absence of air, at temperatures ranging from about 900 to 1,200 C (1,650 to 2,200 F). Many commercially important compounds are derived from coal tar.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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