noun (plural tattoos)
- 1An evening drum or bugle signal recalling soldiers to their quarters: a military tattoo takes place with clockwork precisionMore 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.
- 1.1British An entertainment consisting of music, marching, and the performance of displays and exercises by military personnel: a visit to Edinburgh during the Festival includes a visit to the Tattoo a crash involving two Russian jet fighters at the International Air TattooMore 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: she tapped her fingers in a nervous tattooMore 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.
mid 17th century (originally as tap-too) from Dutch taptoe!, literally 'close the tap (of the cask)!'.
verb (tattoos, tattooing, tattooed)[with object]
- 1Mark (a part of the body) with an indelible design by inserting pigment into punctures in the skin: his cheek was tattooed with a winged fistMore 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 handMore 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)Back to top
- A design made by tattooing: they were muscle-bound men covered in scars and tattoosMore 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.
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- 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.
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- ‘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.
mid 18th century: from Tahitian, Tongan, and Samoan ta-tau or Marquesan ta-tu.