Definitions

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

  • n. A situation or problem from which it is virtually impossible to disentangle oneself.

Etymologies

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

After "Bre'r Rabbit and the Tar Baby,” an Uncle Remus story by Joel Chandler Harris.

Examples

    Sorry, no example sentences found.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Something to be circumvented: a sticky situation or problem from which it is almost impossible to escape, which proves that it is entirely possible to end a definition of tar baby without using a preposition.

    May 8, 2013

  • In tiddlywinks, "a pile under your own control, but into which your winks seem to be sucked entirely inadvertently. A tactical nightmare."

    August 27, 2008

  • Tar-Baby was a doll made of tar and turpentine, used to entrap Br'er Rabbit in the second of the Uncle Remus stories. The more that Br'er Rabbit fought the Tar-Baby, the more entangled he became. In contemporary usage, a tar baby refers to any "sticky situation" that is only aggravated by efforts to solve it.

    _Wikipedia

    February 18, 2008

  • I just have to hope the cat in question does not care.

    June 26, 2007

  • racially derogatory term - ugh

    June 26, 2007

  • definition: something from which it is nearly impossible to extricate oneself

    January 1, 2007