- a signal on a drum, bugle, or trumpet at night, for soldiers or sailors to go to their quarters.
- a knocking or strong pulsation: My heart beat a tattoo on my ribs.
- British. an outdoor military pageant or display.
Origin of tattoo1
- the act or practice of marking the skin with indelible patterns, pictures, legends, etc., by making punctures in it and inserting pigments.
- a pattern, picture, legend, etc., so made.
- to mark (the skin) with tattoos.
- to put (tattoos) on the skin.
Origin of tattoo2
Examples from the Web for tattoo
The findings revealed that, in 1999, only 21 percent of Americans claimed someone in their household had a tattoo.Masters of Alt Sex: SuicideGirls Hits Puberty and Wants to Invade Your TV Set
December 9, 2014
There was one guy who had a tattoo of me on his inner thigh.The Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah Sounds Off on Weed, the Weather, and Winning
October 19, 2014
Kastigar still had the tattoo, but he had grown a beard and lost a front tooth.American Jihadis Douglas McCain and Troy Kastigar: From Losers to Martyrs
August 28, 2014
Because that tattoo ink might be more permanent than your love.Melanie, Leave Antonio On Your Arm: The Emotional Politics of Tattoos
June 21, 2014
The best way to pay tribute to the surrealist artist: get a tattoo of his work.Hollywood’s Sci-Fi Artist H.R. Giger Dead at 74
May 13, 2014
This discoloration was of a livid blue, about the tint of a tattoo mark.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
Parker found him no boxer, and beat a tattoo upon his middle.
Felicite, enraged, was beating a tattoo on the shutter with her impatient fingers.The Fortune of the Rougons
Young Allison was staring at tattoo marks on the right arm of the body.Rodney, the Ranger
John V. Lane
She'd come on pass from Pindi, an' the Colonel's lady had lint her the tattoo.Soldiers Three, Part II.
- (formerly) a signal by drum or bugle ordering the military to return to their quarters
- a military display or pageant, usually at night
- any similar beating on a drum, etc
- to make (pictures or designs) on (the skin) by pricking and staining with indelible colours
- a design made by this process
- the practice of tattooing
Word Origin and History for tattoo
"signal," 1680s, "signal calling soldiers or sailors to quarters at night," earlier tap-to (1644, in order of Col. Hutchinson to garrison of Nottingham), from Dutch taptoe, from tap "faucet of a cask" (see tap (n.1)) + toe "shut." So called because police used to visit taverns in the evening to shut off the taps of casks. Transferred sense of "drumbeat" is recorded from 1755. Hence, Devil's tattoo "action of idly drumming fingers in irritation or impatience" (1803).
"pigment design in skin," 1769 (noun and verb, both first attested in writing of Capt. Cook), from a Polynesian noun (e.g. Tahitian and Samoan tatau, Marquesan tatu "puncture, mark made on skin").
"mark the skin with pigment," 1769; see tattoo (n.2). Related: Tattooed; tattooing.
- A permanent mark or design made on the skin by a process of pricking and ingraining an indelible pigment or by raising scars.
- To mark the skin with a tattoo.
- To form a tattoo on the skin.