There are 2 definitions of tattoo in English:

tattoo1

Syllabification: tat·too
Pronunciation: /taˈto͞o
 
/

noun (plural tattoos)

1An evening drum or bugle signal recalling soldiers to their quarters.
More example sentences
  • From the 17th century drums and trumpets sounded tattoo, originally an instruction to turn off the taps of beer or wine-barrels, to call men back to quarters at the end of the day.
1.1An entertainment consisting of music, marching, and the performance of displays and exercises by military personnel.
More example sentences
  • While the band no longer performs at military tattoos, it is, on occasion, recalled to active duty.
  • He was thrown off his Honda then hit by another bike in front of hundreds of spectators at a military tattoo in West Bergholt.
  • The top of Blake Street was a wonderful vantage point for watching the many parades, processions and military tattoos that regularly took to the streets.
1.2A rhythmic tapping or drumming.
More example sentences
  • All year long the war drums have been beating an insistent tattoo but recently the rhythm seemed to be leading nowhere.
  • My heart beat a nervous tattoo in my chest, the rest of my body frozen in place.
  • The vibrant music and the exhilarating beat of the tribals were infectious and soon many in the audience, including yours truly, were beating a tattoo on the floor.

Origin

mid 17th century (originally as tap-too): from Dutch taptoe!, literally 'close the tap (of the cask)!'.

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Pronunciation: ˈsembləns
noun
the outward appearance or apparent form of something…

There are 2 definitions of tattoo in English:

tattoo2

Syllabification: tat·too
Pronunciation: /
 
taˈto͞o/

verb (tattoos, tattoing, tattooed /-ˈto͞od/)

[with object]
1Mark (a person or a part of the body) with an indelible design by inserting pigment into punctures in the skin: his cheek was tattooed with a winged fist
More example sentences
  • First of all, there is a significant difference between tattooing the body, cutting the body, piercing the body, painting the body and writing on the body.
  • Without exception they paint their bodies, they tattoo their bodies, they decorate their bodies and they clothe their bodies.
  • The four defendants were charged for tattooing their bodies to evade conscription immediately after they were judged physically competent to serve in the military.
1.1Make (an indelible design) on a part of the body by inserting pigment into punctures in the skin: he has a heart tattooed on his left hand
More example sentences
  • He did everything short of tattooing the organization's logo on his forehead.
  • One of the drinkers at the bar informed me that Noi is a real butterfly; in fact she has the image of a small butterfly tattooed over her heart.
  • The little cross tattooed on my left hand is a memory of my Latino friends when I lived in Phoenix.

noun (plural tattoos)

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A design made by tattooing.
More example sentences
  • But for soldiers, getting tattoos has for many years been a way of nurturing a sense of solidarity with their fellow troops.
  • We must be prepared for all possibilities, not just the ones that play into reporters' preconceived notions about hunters, soldiers, tattoos and guns.
  • It has also been believed that someone with a tattoo in a certain pattern calls upon the spirit corresponding to that image.

Origin

mid 18th century: from Tahitian, Tongan, and Samoan ta-tau or Marquesan ta-tu.

Derivatives

tattooer

noun
More example sentences
  • There are possibilities in this direction for the tattooer who is willing to sacrifice his art.
  • Also one of the worst things for me is tattooers who don't have any tattoos, or barely any.
  • Now you know that you have to be both a fan and an artist in order for other tattooers to take you seriously.

tattooist

Pronunciation: /taˈto͞oist/
noun
More example sentences
  • ‘I heard there was a lack of quality tattooists in the Mid West,’ he said.
  • He liked the idea of artists becoming tattooists, not drunken bikers… he helped to legitimise the whole world of tattooing, which was in a dark tunnel for a long time.
  • If joined end-to-end, these ads would be a separate feature lasting an hour and starring fast food meal deals, electrical goods salespeople and tattooists.

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