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

  • adj. Having a sharp pungent taste; sour. See Synonyms at sour.
  • adj. Sharp or bitter in tone or meaning; cutting.
  • n. A pastry shell with shallow sides, no top crust, and any of various fillings.
  • n. Chiefly British A pie.
  • n. A prostitute.
  • n. A woman considered to be sexually promiscuous.
  • transitive v. Chiefly British To dress up or make fancy in a tawdry, garish way. Often used with up.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Sharp to the taste; acid; sour.
  • adj. Of wine: high or too high in acidity.
  • adj. Sharp; keen; severe.
  • n. A type of small open pie, or piece of pastry, containing jelly or conserve; a sort of fruit pie.
  • n. (slang) A prostitute.
  • n. (slang, derogatory) By extension, any woman with loose sexual morals.
  • v. To practice prostitution
  • v. To practice promiscuous sex
  • v. To dress garishly or ostentatiously

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Sharp to the taste; acid; sour.
  • adj. Fig.: Sharp; keen; severe
  • n. A species of small open pie, or piece of pastry, containing jelly or conserve; a sort of fruit pie.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Sharp to the taste; acidulous: as, a tart apple.
  • Figuratively, sharp; keen; severe; cutting; biting: as, a tart reply; tart language; a tart rebuke.
  • Synonyms Sour, caustic. See tartness.
  • To make acid or piquant.
  • n. A pie or piece of pastry, consisting generally of fruit baked in paste. Compare pie.

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

  • n. a woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money
  • n. a pastry cup with a filling of fruit or custard and no top crust
  • adj. tasting sour like a lemon
  • n. a small open pie with a fruit filling
  • adj. harsh


Middle English, from Old English teart, severe
Middle English tarte, from Old French, perhaps alteration of tartane, from Late Latin torta, a kind of bread.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
May be from Old English teart. Cognate with German zart ("delicate, tender") and Albanian thartë ("sour, acid, sharp") (Wiktionary)
Old French tarte ("flat pastry"). (Wiktionary)
From sweetheart or jam tart ("attractive woman") by shortening (Wiktionary)


  • The word tart comes from the Latin word _tortus_, because tarts were originally in twisted shapes, and every country seems to have adopted them into their national menus.

    American Cookery November, 1921

  • The filling for the tart is a fairly standard brownie recipe, and the same can be said for the crust, and they come together quite easily.

    Bites from other Blogs | Baking Bites

  • This tart is a great way to kick off your return to blogalnd!

    i am back & a mushroom ricotta tart

  • If I make this again, I will use a loose-bottomed tart pan, rather than the pyrex pie pan, because the tart is a thin one - and a good thing too, as it is very sweet.


  • "Yes, being a tart is a full time occupation," retorted Sharon to the retreating form.

    Archive 2005-11-01

  • Star Magazine snitches claim Rihanna allowed her allegedly abusive boyfriend Chris Brown to record several of their “intimate encounters” (Hint, Hint) and the pop tart is now petrified that the racy footage of Chris Breezy “running it” in her no-no holes will soon be exposed.

    Chris Brown & Rihanna Moving In Together

  • My favorite thing about this type of tart is that you can use just about any kind of fruit in it - berries, apples, plums, nectarines, pears, grapes, etc.

    Easy Peach Galette | Baking Bites

  • The tart is garnished with a generous sprinkle of chopped pistachios, which add crunch and a nice splash of green to the ruby red base beneath them.

    Bites from other Blogs | Baking Bites

  • The tart is filled with a simple mixture of mozzarella, tomatoes and olive oil.

    Bites from other Blogs | Baking Bites

  • Bacon aside, the tart is made with fresh, roasted tomatoes and sweet, roasted onions.

    Bites from other Blogs | Baking Bites


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  • Rhyming slang for heart is jam tart - remember the Queen of Hearts whose baked goods were purloined by the Jack (or was it the Knave?). The phrase is often used by bridge players when referring to the Hearts suit.

    December 7, 2011

  • When I was attending a boys' secondary school near Birmingham, UK, in the 1950s tart was used unselfconsiously as equivalent to girlfriend or a girl one just took out. Maybe in this usage tart = sweetheart, somewhat counter to the identification with a sex worker of the appropriate gender.

    December 7, 2011

  • Yes, WeirdNet, that too.

    September 8, 2009

  • I use this word with a different meaning. Taken from Gaelic, tart means "thirst". In English I have used this word as a slang adjective to describe one being thirsty, specifically for some type of alcoholic beverage.

    Bostonians, with their Irish heritage may often use this word:

    "Man, I am wicked tart tonight." only best spoken with a Boston accent so it sounds more like tat.

    Chicagoans, with their Irish heritage may also use the words only with their unique accent that may sound more like tert.

    June 9, 2009

  • person (male or female) of low morals

    July 23, 2008

  • A tart doesn't have a pastry top - that's a pie.

    June 18, 2008