from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A signal sounded on a drum or bugle to summon soldiers or sailors to their quarters at night.
- n. A display of military exercises offered as evening entertainment.
- n. A continuous, even drumming or rapping.
- intransitive v. To beat out an even rhythm, as with the fingers.
- transitive v. To beat or tap rhythmically on; rap or drum on.
- n. A permanent mark or design made on the skin by a process of pricking and ingraining an indelible pigment or by raising scars.
- n. A design made on the skin with a temporary dye such as henna or ink.
- transitive v. To mark (the skin) with a tattoo.
- transitive v. To form (a tattoo) on the skin.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An image made in the skin with ink and a needle.
- n. A method of decorating the skin by inserting colored substances under the surface. The skin is punctured with a sharp instrument, which now is usually a solenoid-driven needle, that carries the inks to lower layers of the skin.
- v. To apply a tattoo to (someone or something).
- v. To hit the ball hard, as if to figuratively leave a tattoo on the ball.
- n. A signal played five minutes before taps (lights out).
- n. A signal by drum or bugle ordering soldiers to return to their quarters.
- n. A military display or pageant.
- n. A breed of pony from India; a pony of that breed.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A beat of drum, or sound of a trumpet or bugle, at night, giving notice to soldiers to retreat, or to repair to their quarters in garrison, or to their tents in camp.
- transitive v. To color, as the flesh, by pricking in coloring matter, so as to form marks or figures which can not be washed out.
- n. An indelible mark or figure made by puncturing the skin and introducing some pigment into the punctures; -- a mode of ornamentation practiced by various barbarous races, both in ancient and modern times, and also by some among civilized nations, especially by sailors.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In India, a native-bred pony or small horse. Also, by abbreviation, tat. See tat.
- n. A beat of drum and bugle-call at night, giving notice to soldiers to repair to their quarters in garrison or to their tents in camp; in United States men-of-war, a bugle-call or beat of drum at 9 p. m.
- To beat the tattoo; make a noise like that of the tattoo.
- To mark, as the surface of the body, with indelible patterns produced by pricking the skin and inserting different pigments in the punctures.
- n. A pattern, legend, or picture produced by tattooing: used also attributively: as, tattoo marks.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a design on the skin made by tattooing
- n. a drumbeat or bugle call that signals the military to return to their quarters
- n. the practice of making a design on the skin by pricking and staining
- v. stain (skin) with indelible color
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).
Of Polynesian origin.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Samoan tatau ("to tap"). (Wiktionary)
From Dutch taptoe. (Wiktionary)
From Hindi tattū. (Wiktionary)