TART, a dish of baked pastry containing fruit, a fruit pie;. also a small open piece of baked pastry with jam placed upon it. The word was adapted from the O.Fr. Earle; the older form must have been torte, as is seen in the mod. Fr. tourte and the diminutive tortel or torteau; the origin is the Lat. torta, twisted (torquere, to twist), used of a cake in Med. Lat., the paste or dough of cakes or tarts being rolled or twisted. The alteration of the vowel is also seen in Ital. tartera. In English there is some confusion with "tart," sharp, acid, bitter, which comes. from O.E. teart, sharp, severe, properly "tearing," from teran, to tear; cf. "bitter," from "to bite."
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