Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A viscous black liquid containing numerous organic compounds that is obtained by the destructive distillation of coal and used as a roofing, waterproofing, and insulating compound and as a raw material for many dyes, drugs, and paints.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A black, viscous tar made by the destructive distillation of coal (to make coke and town gas); it contains a great number of compounds including hydrocarbons and phenols; used in the preparation of medicated soap and shampoo, and industrially for the manufacture of very many products.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A thick, black, tarry liquid, obtained by the distillation of bituminous coal in the manufacture of illuminating gas; used for making printer's ink, black varnish, etc. It is a complex mixture from which many substances have been obtained, especially hydrocarbons of the benzene or aromatic series.
  • n. See in the Vocabulary.
  • n. See in the Vocabulary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A thick, black, viscid, opaque liquid which condenses in the pipes when gas is distilled from coal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a tar formed from distillation of bituminous coal; coal tar can be further distilled to give various aromatic compounds

Etymologies

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