Dictionary.com

tattoo

1
[ ta-too ]
/ tæˈtu /
Save This Word!
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.
QUIZ
QUIZ YOURSELF ON AFFECT VS. EFFECT!
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.
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of tattoo

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

Other definitions 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. 2022

How to use tattoo in a sentence

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.
FEEDBACK