• WordNet 3.6
    • v tattoo stain (skin) with indelible color
    • n tattoo the practice of making a design on the skin by pricking and staining
    • n tattoo a design on the skin made by tattooing
    • n tattoo a drumbeat or bugle call that signals the military to return to their quarters
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The first tattoo machine was invented by Samuel O'Reilly. He did this by using equipment that Thomas Edison used to engrave hard surfaces.
    • n Tattoo (Mil) 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.
    • n Tattoo 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.
    • v. t Tattoo To color, as the flesh, by pricking in coloring matter, so as to form marks or figures which can not be washed out.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The word, tattoo originated from the Tahitain word "tattau" which means "to mark."
    • n tattoo In India, a native-bred pony or small horse. Also, by abbreviation, tat. See tat.
    • n tattoo 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.
    • tattoo To beat the tattoo; make a noise like that of the tattoo.
    • tattoo To mark, as the surface of the body, with indelible patterns produced by pricking the skin and inserting different pigments in the punctures. Sailors and others mark the skin with legends, love-emblems, etc.; and some uncivilized peoples, especially the New Zealanders and the Dyaks of Borneo, cover large surfaces of the body with ornamental patterns in this way. Tattooing is sometimes ordered by sentence of court martial as a punishment instead of branding, as by indelibly marking a soldier with D for “deserter,” or T for “thief.” It is also an occasional surgical operation.
    • n tattoo A pattern, legend, or picture produced by tattooing: used also attributively: as, tattoo marks.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The reason why tattoos do not vanish even though we shed our skin is because the dye is injected deeper into the dermis part of the skin. It is only the epidermis that we shed
    • n Tattoo tat-tōō′ a beat of drum and a bugle-call to call soldiers to quarters, originally to shut the taps or drinking-houses against them
    • v.t Tattoo tat-tōō′ to mark permanently (as the skin) with figures, by pricking in colouring-matter
    • n Tattoo marks or figures made by pricking colouring-matter into the skin
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Earlier taptoo, D. taptoe,; tap, a tap, faucet + toe, to, shut (i. e., the taps, or drinking houses, shut from the soldiers)


In literature:

The captain himself had gone out soon after tattoo.
"The Deserter" by Charles King
He merely asked to be away a few hours to meet friends in town, and Mr. Hall took tattoo roll-call for him.
"From the Ranks" by Charles King
The rolling tattoo of goat-skin drums filled the royal reception-hall of King M'tesa, as the great tyrant entered with his chiefs.
"The Book of Missionary Heroes" by Basil Mathews
The higher up the Rovuma we ascend the people are more and more tattooed on the face, and on all parts of the body.
"The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume I (of 2), 1866-1868" by David Livingstone
The custom of tattooing, or imprinting figures on the skin, is general among the inhabitants of this group of islands.
"The History of Sumatra" by William Marsden
Tattooing the face was practised by the noble classes.
"Early Britain" by Grant Allen
All hands were delighted, and Grace shot out to Sedgwick such a look of pride and love that his heart beat a tattoo for a quarter of an hour.
"The Wedge of Gold" by C. C. Goodwin
Sanderson was standing by the window, drumming a tattoo on the pane.
"'Way Down East" by Joseph R. Grismer
His left foot beat a little tattoo on the side of the box.
"The Bad Man" by Charles Hanson Towne
He got a shrug and a louder tattoo.
"Beatrix of Clare" by John Reed Scott

In poetry:

Or the young Marie's grace and art,
So free from earthly strife,
Beating upon the sounding heart,
The gay tattoo of life!
"Adelina Patti" by Adah Isaacs Menken
There were no maps for soldiers
In this land of Gunga Din
So they picked the toughest warrior out
And tattooed on his skin.
"Mandalay 1" by Billy Bennett
Above him in the sycamore
The flicker beats a dull tattoo;
Through pawpaw groves the soft airs pour
Gold dust of blooms and fragrance new.
"The Blue Heron" by Maurice Thompson
No star, no rose, to lesson him and lead;
No woodsman compass of the skies and rocks,—
Tattooed of stars and lichens,—doth love need
To guide him where, among the hollyhocks,
A blur of moonlight, gleam his sweetheart's locks.
"Assumption" by Madison Julius Cawein
Cannon and sword were my playthings to bless,
(Dangerous toys for a babe to try,)
The stirring reveille my more caress,
The wild tattoo was my lullaby;
And well, methinks, as they years have run,
Have I wrought the work my sires begun.
"Uncle Sam's Soliloquy" by Madge Morris Wagner
And, last of all, The Clown, making mirth for all the town,
With his lips curved ever upward and his eyebrows ever down,
And his chief attention paid to the little mule that played
A tattoo on the dashboard with his heels, in the parade.
"The Circus-Day Parade" by James Whitcomb Riley

In news:

This new "gallery of regrets" highlights more of the most embarrassing tattoos you may ever see.
What you get tattooed on your body says a lot about you.
Tupac got 'Thug Life' tattooed on himself to represent where he came from.
Wrestler CM Punk has a Pepsi tattoo on his arm, probably because he likes Pepsi.
At least with those tattoos you can cover them up if needed.
She's been featured in magazines like NorCal, Licked, Browz, Hungarian Tattoo, and Arte Tattoo in addition to be named Kaboom's Bombshell of the Month in November 2010.
The man with the dragonfly tattoo.
Was there really a girl with a dragon tattoo.
Like jumbo shrimp or freezer burn, tattoo removal is a somewhat contradictory concept.
Tattooed Guy' Was Pivotal in Armstrong Case.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has a small tattoo on his upper back that says Chosen 1.
Should I Have My Thin Eyebrows Tattooed.
"Like a big tattoo, it seemed cool when you were young," Pawlenty said.
Business Index Tattoo Steve's Ink Good Tyme Tattoo Parlor.
Famed tattoo artist Kat Von D today started the first of what looks like may be several visits to have a tattoo of ex, Jesse James, removed.

In science:

One should also mention that some conventions or norms are set by law, e.g. the driving side , or may involve an intentional segregation from other groups (e.g. when groups develop their own dress-codes or symbols such as tattoos).
Cooperation, Norms, and Revolutions: A Unified Game-Theoretical Approach
Non-PAT interests in PAT: angelina jolie, bdsm, beer, being alone, bisexuality, black, boots, crying, dying, fire, fishnets, goth(ic), graveyards, hair dye, horror, industri al, lust, perfection, porn, serial killers, sex, tattoos, tears, vampires, wicca, witchcraft, etc.
Semantic Networks of Interests in Online NSSI Communities