[ ta-too ]
/ tæˈtu /
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See synonyms for: tattoo / tattooed / tattooing / tattoos on Thesaurus.com

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.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of tattoo

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

Definition for tattoo (2 of 2)

[ 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

1760–70; <Marquesan tatu; replacing tattow<Tahitian tatau
tat·too·er, tat·too·ist, nounun·tat·tooed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for tattoo (1 of 2)

/ (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
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)

/ (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
tattooer or tattooist, noun
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

[ 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.


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.
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