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Definition of "tattoo" [tat•too]

  • A signal sounded on a drum or bugle to summon soldiers or sailors to their quarters at night. (noun)
  • A display of military exercises offered as evening entertainment. (noun)
  • A continuous, even drumming or rapping. (noun)
  • To beat out an even rhythm, as with the fingers. (verb-intransitive)
  • To beat or tap rhythmically on; rap or drum on. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "tattoo" in a sentence
  • "Inside the tattoo is a series of numbers that she didn't even realize were there ... but that have great significance."
  • "But you can not tell me that every person with a tattoo is an idiot, uneducated, or trashy."
  • "They are participants in a cultural wave as huge as the Pacific surf, the islands from which the word "tattoo" originated."