Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

tat·too 1

n. pl. tat·toos
1. A signal sounded on a drum or bugle to summon soldiers or sailors to their quarters at night.
2. A display of military exercises and music offered as evening entertainment.
3. A continuous, even drumming or rapping.
v. tat·tooed, tat·too·ing, tat·toos
To beat out an even rhythm, as with the fingers.
To beat or tap rhythmically on; rap or drum on.

[Alteration of Dutch taptoe, tap-shut (closing time for taverns), tattoo : tap, spigot, tap (from Middle Dutch tappe) + toe, shut (from Middle Dutch; see de- in Indo-European roots).]

tat·too 2

n. pl. tat·toos
1. A permanent mark or design made on the skin by a process of pricking and ingraining an indelible pigment or by raising scars.
2. A design made on the skin with a temporary dye such as henna or ink.
tr.v. tat·tooed, tat·too·ing, tat·toos
1. To mark (the skin) with a tattoo.
2. To form (a tattoo) on the skin.

[From Tahitian tatau and kindred Polynesian words, all from Proto-Polynesian *tatau.]

tat·too′er n.
tat·too′ist n.


, tattooist
nTätowierer(in) m(f)
References in periodicals archive ?
On Twitter, @xsylveon posted: "I can't believe you're a tattooer - I hope you never work again.
Jordan is a great tattooer from London, one of the best guys I know, and is miles away from friends and family.
Celebrity tattooer Kat Von D broke a Guinness record on her T.
A tattoo artist tends to work with vibrant, color-saturated images, but a tattooer is drawn to the bold, basic design tattooing was founded on, said Garcia, who firmly described himself as a tattooer.
Ricketts) they took a steamer, then a party of smaller boats, along the Madalam, Malinau, and Tutau [Tutoh] Rivers, visiting more villages, camping on riverbanks and even getting tattooed at Umu [Uma] Belubu by the mother-in-law of the chief, Balu Long, who was "perhaps the best tattooer in the Baram District" (Haddon 1901: 305).