To catch a Tartar ; to attack one of superior strength or abilities. This saying originated from a story of an Irish-soldier in the Imperial service, who, in a battle against the Turks, called out to his comrade that he had caught a Tartar. 'Bring him along then,' said he. 'He won't come,' answered Paddy. 'Then come along yourself,' replied his comrade. 'Arrah,' cried he, 'but he won't let me.'

A Tartar is also an adept at any feat, or game : he is quite a Tartar at cricket, or billiards.

The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Tar"tar (?), n. [F. tartre (cf. Pr. tartari, Sp., Pg., & It. tartaro, LL. tartarum, LGr. ); perhaps of Arabic origin.]

1. Chem.

A reddish crust or sediment in wine casks, consisting essentially of crude cream of tartar, and used in marking pure cream of tartar, tartaric acid, potassium carbonate, black flux, etc., and, in dyeing, as a mordant for woolen goods; -- called also argol, wine stone, etc.


A correction which often incrusts the teeth, consisting of salivary mucus, animal matter, and phosphate of lime.

Cream of tartar. Chem. See under Cream. -- Tartar emetic Med. Chem., a double tartrate of potassium and basic antimony. It is a poisonous white crystalline substance having a sweetish metallic taste, and used in medicine as a sudorific and emetic.


© Webster 1913.

Tar"tar (?), n.

1. [Per. Tatar, of Tartar origin.]

A native or inhabitant of Tartary in Asia; a member of any one of numerous tribes, chiefly Moslem, of Turkish origin, inhabiting the Russian Europe; -- written also, more correctly but less usually, Tatar.


A person of a keen, irritable temper.

To catch a tartar, to lay hold of, or encounter, a person who proves too strong for the assailant. [Colloq.]


© Webster 1913.

Tar"tar, a.

Of or pertaining to Tartary in Asia, or the Tartars.


© Webster 1913.

Tar"tar, n. [Cf. F. tartare.]

See Tartarus.



© Webster 1913.

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