- noun a promiscuous, vulgar or sexually provocative woman. This modern sense of the word has gradually supplanted the older meaning which was simply a woman or sweetheart. As a term of affection (inspired by the pastry sweetmeat and reinforced by ‘sweetheart’), tart was applied to women of all ages from the mid-19th century. By the early years of the 20th century it was more often used of the flighty or immoral and by the inter-war years often referred to prostitutes. In modern theatrical, gay (where it is often used of men), cockney and Australian speech, tart is still used affectionately.
- used to describe a wine that is acidic and harsh or sharp to taste