A tattoo (image made in skin)



  • An image made in the skin with ink and a needle.
  • A method of decorating the skin by inserting colored substances under the surface with a sharp instrument (usually a solenoid-driven needle).
  • A signal played five minutes before taps (lights out).
  • A signal by drum or bugle ordering soldiers to return to their quarters.
  • A military display or pageant.
  • A pony of a certain breed from India.


  • To apply a tattoo to (someone or something).
  • To hit the ball hard, as if to figuratively leave a tattoo on the ball.
  • To tap rhythmically on, to drum.


  • From earlier tattaow, tattow, a borrowing from a language, e.g. Samoan tatau ("tattoo; to tap, to strike").
  • From earlier tap-to, borrowed from Dutch taptoe, from tap + toe. More at tap, to.
  • From Hindi टट्टू.

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