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

Related Words for tattooed

strum, roar, thunder, throb, rap, pulsate, reverberate, boom, tattoo, thrum

Examples from the Web for tattooed

Contemporary Examples of tattooed

Historical Examples of tattooed

British Dictionary definitions for tattooed



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



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 Formstattooer 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

Word Origin and History for tattooed



"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tattooed in Medicine



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.