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.
Other definitions for tattoo (2 of 2)
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.
- tat·too·er, tat·too·ist, noun
- un·tat·tooed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use tattoo in a sentence
As Mamerow’s condition progressed, her eyebrows disappeared, the hair now replaced by a subtle tattoo of fine lines designed to replicate eyebrows.
Luckily for Gelsinger’s marriage, the tattoo was only temporary and the photo was staged.
If tattoo pigments are too small, the immune system rapidly clears them from the skin and the tattoo disappears.
They demonstrated the cancer-detecting tattoo in living mice.
You can’t walk into a doctor’s office and get a dynamic tattoo yet, but they are on the way.
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 | Marlow Stern | December 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Her make-up includes two tattoo-like designs on both temples.
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 | Bill Schulz | October 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Look at The Killing, The Girl with the Dragon tattoo, all of these Scandinavian things with female investigators.Frances McDormand on 'Olive Kitteridge,' Dropping LSD, and Her Beef With FX's 'Fargo' | Marlow Stern | September 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Michael Daly | August 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
There was a quiet, cynical smile on his face as he sat there beating a tattoo on his leggings with a hickory twig.The Soldier of the Valley | Nelson Lloyd
Suddenly the old man beat a tattoo on his cranium and closed his eyes, apparently deep in thought.The Fifth String | John Philip Sousa
Inside—no sound, except the Factor's deep breathing, and an irregular tattoo, produced by Denton's heels tapping upon the floor.Menotah | Ernest G. Henham
But it seemed no use knocking, and Wildney at last, in a fit of impatience, thumped a regular tattoo on the bedroom door.Eric, or Little by Little | Frederic W. Farrar
Huge black grasshoppers played the jew's-harp, while the owl beat a tattoo on its own body, having no better drum.Rudy and Babette | Hans Christian Andersen
British Dictionary definitions for tattoo (1 of 2)
(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
British Dictionary definitions for tattoo (2 of 2)
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
- tattooer or tattooist, noun
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