tattoo

1
[ ta-too ]
/ tæˈtu /

noun, plural tat·toos.

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 tattoo

1
1570–80; earlier taptoo < Dutch taptoe literally, the tap(room) is to (i.e., shut)

Definition for tattoo (2 of 2)

tattoo2
[ ta-too ]
/ tæˈtu /

noun, plural tat·toos.

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.

verb (used with object), tat·tooed, tat·too·ing.

to mark (the skin) with tattoos.
to put (tattoos) on the skin.

Origin of tattoo

2
1760–70; < Marquesan tatu; replacing tattow < Tahitian tatau

OTHER WORDS FROM tattoo

tat·too·er, tat·too·ist, nounun·tat·tooed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tattoo

British Dictionary definitions for tattoo (1 of 2)

tattoo1
/ (tæˈtuː) /

noun plural -toos

(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

Word Origin for tattoo

C17: from Dutch taptoe, from the command tap toe! turn off the taps! from tap tap of a barrel + toe to shut

British Dictionary definitions for tattoo (2 of 2)

tattoo2
/ (tæˈtuː) /

verb -toos, -tooing or -tooed

to make (pictures or designs) on (the skin) by pricking and staining with indelible colours

noun plural -toos

a design made by this process
the practice of tattooing

Derived forms of tattoo

tattooer or tattooist, noun

Word Origin for tattoo

C18: from Tahitian tatau
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

Medical definitions for tattoo

tattoo
[ tă-tōō ]

n. pl. tat•toos

A permanent mark or design made on the skin by a process of pricking and ingraining an indelible pigment or by raising scars.

v.

To mark the skin with a tattoo.
To form a tattoo on the skin.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.