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See more synonyms for tat on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with or without object), tat·ted, tat·ting.
  1. to do, or make by, tatting.
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Origin of tat

First recorded in 1900–05; back formation from tatting


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

knit, entangle, cord, secure, bind, tie, tether, loop, tat, associate, braid, connect, convolute, crisscross, cross, entwine, interlace, link, mesh, network

Examples from the Web for tat

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And they think you are resolved to break theirs: so tit for tat, Miss.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • To his uncomplicated nature the affair was still one of tit for tat.


    John Galsworthy

  • The affair now had simmered down to plain temper and tit for tat.

    Desert Dust

    Edwin L. Sabin

  • Well, considering Harrison's qualifications, it might still not be tit for tat.


    Algirdas Jonas Budrys

  • At any rate, he turned to Cæsar, and said slowly, 'Tit for tat.

    The Hill

    Horace Annesley Vachell

British Dictionary definitions for tat


verb tats, tatting or tatted
  1. to make (something) by tatting
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Word Origin

C19: of unknown origin


  1. tatty articles or a tatty condition
  2. tasteless articles
  3. a tangled mass
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Word Origin

C20: back formation from tatty


  1. short for tattoo 2 (def. 2)
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  1. See tit for tat
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for tat


1882, "to do tatting," back-formation from tatting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tat in Medicine


  1. Thematic Apperception Test
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with tat


see tit for tat.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.