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.


Middle English Tartre, from Old French Tartare, from Medieval Latin Tartarus, alteration (influenced by Latin Tartarus, Tartarus) of Persian Tātār; see Tatar.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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