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tartar

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Definition calcified deposits on the teeth, formed by the continuous presence of dental plaque (also called calculous)

Do not confuse this with the proper noun, Tartar, which references a central Asian people once known for their ferocity in battle.

The expression tartar sauce refers to a mayonnaise-based sauce commonly served with seafood and sometimes spelled tartare sauce. You may also see steak tartar in reference to a ground beef dish that is eaten raw; though the preferred spelling of the dish is steak tartare.

Much more rarely, tartar can reference anyone with a bad temper, or it can reference a reddish crust or sediment in wine casks.
  • 'Quicker than Wogdog from the Tartar's bow!
    Richard Adams  --  Watership Down
  • Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • And Herbert had seen him as a predatory Tartar of comic propensities, with a face like a red brick, and an outrageous hat all over bells.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
  • I'm Crusty," he said, with a tartar-yellow smile.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Lightning Thief
  • I start for my own room, where I intend to stash the evening gown until I can find some lemons or, even better, cream of tartar to soak it in.
    Meg Cabot  --  Queen of Babble
  • She had the temper of a Tartar and the rages of a wild cat and, at such times, she did not seem to care what she said or how much it hurt.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • Her favorite stag-hounds, Russ and Tartar, were asleep before the door, where they had been chained.
    Zane Grey  --  The Light of Western Stars
  • Occasionally I strike a tartar.
    Richard Connell  --  The Most Dangerous Game
  • PUCK I go, I go; look how I go,— Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.
    William Shakespeare  --  A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • To the gates of Tartar, thou most excellent devil of wit!
    William Shakespeare  --  Twelfth Night
  • Warsaw can no more be Tartar than Venice can be Teuton.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • That was in the great days of Pablo when he scourged the country like a tartar and no fascist post was safe at night.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • He was famed for great knowledge and skill in horsemanship, being as dexterous on horseback as a Tartar.
    Washington Irving  --  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • The fact was that in Florence the poor wretch had got hold of a Tartar, compared with whom Leonora was a sucking kid.
    Ford Madox Ford  --  The Good Soldier
  • I had a dog that lived and died in it from a puppy; and my chaise-pony goes on, in Timour the Tartar.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • Tartar faces in every direction you look.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • I knew when my turn came, it would be a Tartar.
    Erik Larson  --  The Devil in the White City
  • She ask about hard water stains and I tell her cream of tartar.
    Kathryn Stockett  --  The Help
  • Not that Mrs. Ascher had been afraid of him-a real tartar she could be when roused!
    Agatha Christie  --  The ABC Murders
  • "My eye, miss," he said in a low voice, "he's a Tartar!"
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House

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