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tattoo1

[ta-too] /tæˈtu/
noun, plural tattoos.
1.
a signal on a drum, bugle, or trumpet at night, for soldiers or sailors to go to their quarters.
2.
a knocking or strong pulsation:
My heart beat a tattoo on my ribs.
3.
British. an outdoor military pageant or display.
Origin
1570-1580
1570-80; earlier taptoo < Dutch taptoe literally, the tap(room) is to (i.e., shut)

tattoo2

[ta-too] /tæˈtu/
noun, plural tattoos.
1.
the act or practice of marking the skin with indelible patterns, pictures, legends, etc., by making punctures in it and inserting pigments.
2.
a pattern, picture, legend, etc., so made.
verb (used with object), tattooed, tattooing.
3.
to mark (the skin) with tattoos.
4.
to put (tattoos) on the skin.
Origin
1760-70; < Marquesan tatu; replacing tattow < Tahitian tatau
Related forms
tattooer, tattooist, noun
untattooed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for tattoo
  • Someone sold a tattoo on his forehead to an advertiser of some sort.
  • The urge to fit in drives many in our age to get a tattoo.
  • Vote on geek tattoo photos submitted by other readers.
  • Her bikini was matching the ocean below and a tattoo in an unknown language was adorning her slender back.
  • The strength of the signal might vary with the size and location of the tattoo.
  • Another had bet a tattoo on the outcome of one match.
  • Nowhere does that cross-pollination get more unexpected than between popular science and tattoo culture.
  • As any self-respecting ink aficionado knows, every tattoo tells a story.
  • His head is shaved, and there is a tattoo of the crosshairs of a rifle on the back of his skull.
  • After a decade of the tattoo craze, there probably aren't many designs that never got inked.
British Dictionary definitions for tattoo

tattoo1

/tæˈtuː/
noun (pl) -toos
1.
(formerly) a signal by drum or bugle ordering the military to return to their quarters
2.
a military display or pageant, usually at night
3.
any similar beating on a drum, etc
Word Origin
C17: from Dutch taptoe, from the command tap toe! turn off the taps! from tap tap of a barrel + toe to shut

tattoo2

/tæˈtuː/
verb -toos, -tooing, -tooed
1.
to make (pictures or designs) on (the skin) by pricking and staining with indelible colours
noun (pl) -toos
2.
a design made by this process
3.
the practice of tattooing
Derived Forms
tattooer, tattooist, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for tattoo
n.

"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").

v.

"mark the skin with pigment," 1769; see tattoo (n.2). Related: Tattooed; tattooing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tattoo in Medicine

tattoo tat·too (tā-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. tat·tooed, tat·too·ing, tat·toos

  1. To mark the skin with a tattoo.

  2. 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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