from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Past participle of detartrate
  • adjective Of or relating to something from which tartrates have been reduced or removed through a detartration process.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • The day Wordie passed 100,000 words (and 10,000 lists earlier in the week!) seems an auspicious time for this logological note.

    In 1965 in Language on Vacation, Dmitri Borgmann coined "detartrated" to be the longest English palindrome. As "tartrated" was in dictionaries, he thought it likely that it occurred in print somewhere, saying, "Major dictionaries teem with chemistry terms such as dehyrated, denitrated, and desulphurized. It is only a matter of time until they will admit detartrated to their ranks, for it is the palindrome of the future."

    A search on Google Scholar shows six usages of “detartrated�? before 1965, the earliest in 1932, in an article by Lawrence G. Sayell on “The Effect of Grapes and Grape Products on Urinary Acidity�? in the Journal of Nutrition. So “detartrated�? can have its asterisk removed, and join the ranks of “real�? words. Congratulations Dmitri!

    And Congratulations John!

    November 4, 2007

  • I say onward to 200,000! Zipf be damned!

    November 4, 2007

  • Thanks mollusque, a wonderful story! No better way to celebrate 100k.

    And we'll soon hit 300,000 total words listed, though I recently realized there are methodological issues with that number. Right now the count only includes words that are actually on lists. If a word has been added to Wordie, but then removed from all lists (which happens fairly frequently), it's counted towards 'unique words,' but not towards 'total words'. I think it should probably count towards both, and I think I'll correct it next week. So if that number takes a sudden jump, that'll be why.

    November 4, 2007

  • Now that "detartrated" is no longer madeupical, it is time to determine its meaning. Tartrated means containing tartar. Tartar is a white crystalline salt KHC4H4O6 found in grapes. So "detartrated" means having the tartar removed, usually in reference to grapes or wine.

    There is another meaning, however, suggested by a 1968 paper in Google Scholar entitled "The technic of detartration and curettage in the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases." Yes, removal of tartar from teeth is detartration. Therefore, every time the dentist cleans our teeth, we have been detartrated!

    November 6, 2007

  • Having the tartar removed, used in reference to grapes and wine, but potentially also in reference to visits to the dentist.

    September 9, 2009