tattoo

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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See also: Tattoo

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /tæˈtu(ː)/, [tʰæˈtʰu̟(ː)]

Etymology 1[edit]

A tattoo (image made in skin)

From earlier tattaow, tattow, a borrowing from Samoan tatau (to tap, to strike).

Noun[edit]

tattoo (plural tattoos)

  1. An image made in the skin with ink and a needle.
  2. A method of decorating the skin by inserting colored substances under the surface with a sharp instrument (usually a solenoid-driven needle).
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb[edit]

tattoo (third-person singular simple present tattoos, present participle tattooing, simple past and past participle tattooed)

  1. To apply a tattoo to (someone or something).
  2. (baseball) To hit the ball hard, as if to figuratively leave a tattoo on the ball.
    Jones tattoos one into the gap in left; that will clear the bases.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From earlier tap-to, borrowed from Dutch taptoe, from tap (tap; faucet on a cask) + toe (to; shut). More at tap, to.

Noun[edit]

tattoo (countable and uncountable, plural tattoos)

  1. (nautical) A signal played five minutes before taps (lights out).
    • 2017, Charles King, Cadet Days
      Study goes on until tattoo, which, when Pops was at the Point, was sounded at 9.30, followed by taps at 10.
  2. (military) A signal by drum or bugle ordering soldiers to return to their quarters.
  3. (military) A military display or pageant.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

tattoo (third-person singular simple present tattoos, present participle tattooing, simple past and past participle tattooed)

  1. To tap rhythmically on, to drum.
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Chapter 22:
      He had looked at the clock many scores of times; and at the street, where the rain was pattering down, and the people as they clinked by in pattens, left long reflections on the shining stone: he tattooed at the table: he bit his nails most completely []

Further reading[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Hindi टट्टू (ṭaṭṭū).

Noun[edit]

tattoo (plural tattoos)

  1. A breed of pony from India; a pony of that breed.