Definitions

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

  • n. A member of any of the Turkic and Mongolian peoples of central Asia who invaded western Asia and eastern Europe in the Middle Ages.
  • n. Variant of Tatar.
  • n. A person regarded as ferocious or violent.
  • idiom catch a Tartar To grapple with an unexpectedly formidable opponent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. Alternative spelling of Tatar.
  • proper n. A member of the various tribes and their descendants of Tartary, such as Turks, Mongols and Manchus.

Etymologies

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

Middle English Tartre, from Old French Tartare, from Medieval Latin Tartarus, alteration (influenced by Latin Tartarus, Tartarus) of Persian Tātār; see Tatar.

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