the act or process of making a kind of knotted lace of cotton or linen thread with a shuttle.
such lace.

1835–45; origin uncertain

Dictionary.com Unabridged


verb (used without object), verb (used with object), tatted, tatting.
to do, or make by, tatting.

1900–05; back formation from tatting

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tat1 (tæt)
vb , tats, tatting, tatted
to make (something) by tatting
[C19: of unknown origin]

tat2 (tæt)
1.  tatty articles or a tatty condition
2.  tasteless articles
3.  a tangled mass
[C20: back formation from tatty]

tat3 (tæt)
short for tattoo

tat4 (tæt)
See tit for tat

tatting (ˈtætɪŋ)
1.  an intricate type of lace made by looping a thread of cotton or linen by means of a hand shuttle
2.  the act or work of producing this
[C19: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1882, "to do tatting," back-formation from tatting.

"making of knotted lace," 1842, of uncertain origin. In Fr., frivolité.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

TAT abbr.
Thematic Apperception Test

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. tetanus antitoxin

  2. Thematic Apperception Test

  3. Transatlantic Telephone

  4. true air temperature

  5. turnaround time

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


process by which a fabric akin to lace is made of thread with a small hand shuttle and the fingers. It was once a widely practiced craft, known in Italy as occhi and in France as la frivolite. The resulting product appears to be quite fragile but is indeed both strong and durable

Learn more about tatting with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Among the many activities are demonstrations of handcrafts such as quilting, spinning, and tatting.
Eight artists will demonstrate and sell traditional textiles including shuttle tatting and fly tying.
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