tat

1 of 5

verb (1)

tatted; tatting

intransitive verb

: to work at tatting

transitive verb

: to make by tatting

tat

2 of 5

noun (1)

variants or Tat
: a small protein produced by a lentivirus (such as HIV) that greatly increases the rate of viral transcription and replication and enhances the susceptibility of T cells to infection
also : the viral gene that codes for the tat protein

tat

3 of 5

noun (2)

chiefly US slang
: a tattoo on a person's skin
He pulls up his shirt to show us his tats.Dave Eggers

tat

4 of 5

verb (2)

tatted; tatting

transitive verb

1
chiefly US slang : to mark or color the skin with tattoos : tattoo
The benefit of getting tatted at a festival is that you have more than 200 artists from which to choose.Kellie Hwang
often used with up
… say you're not a gang member, yet hang out with gang members, get tatted up with gang symbols or nicknames …Kimberly Edds
2
chiefly US slang : to mark (something) with something like a tattoo
Cargo trains, all rusted and tatted with graffiti, occasionally pass on the neighboring track.Kara Starzyk
often used with up
My passport got tatted up pretty good this year. I hit a dozen countries on five continents, as well as eight states.The Chicago Sun-Times

TAT

5 of 5

abbreviation

thematic apperception test

Examples of tat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Man and his best friend, another chef from the San Gabriel Valley who cooks alongside him at the restaurant, make the dan tat in small batches every morning. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 26 June 2023 In an Instagram video posted on The Shade Room, an unidentified hand with long pink nails that many assumed belonged to Cardi B pushed the rapper's hair aside to reveal his new tats, including the tattoo spelling out Cardi B's name and the Powderpuff Girls. Grace Gavilanes, Peoplemag, 25 May 2023 The weekend rallies came amid heightened tensions in the region, as the pace of North Korean weapons demonstrations and the United States’ joint military exercises with South Korea have both intensified in a cycle of tit-for-tat. Time, 26 June 2023 Dove also unveiled a sneak peek into a tiny tat on her side while rocking the black bikini top. Jasmine Washington, Seventeen, 2 June 2023 The tat in question can be seen in the below video. October 2018: Things seem to be official again. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 24 Sep. 2020 With a third and final post to his feed, Bieber's fresh neck tat clearly means a lot to him. Megan Decker, refinery29.com, 8 Sep. 2020 After both agreed that the most appropriate place for a Lizzo tat would be on the young woman’s rear end, earning thunderous applause from the rest of the crowd, the Yitty founder put her own spin on the request. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 24 Apr. 2023 The first glimpse was a close-up shot of the tats, while the second showed the tattoo artist and Damon smiling post-ink session. Tracey Harrington McCoy, Peoplemag, 20 Mar. 2023
Verb
In dedication to Lily-Rose, Johnny has her name tatted on his chest. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 18 Aug. 2023 While the rest of the Underwood ladies got tatted on their wrists, the star opted for a foot tattoo. Kyle Denis, Billboard, 3 July 2023 Skull with Horns Malone has a skull with horns tatted on the lower side of his face near one ear, just below the Medusa. Kara Nesvig, Peoplemag, 15 Feb. 2023 One fan even pointed out the difference in reaction between the two Taylors getting tatted. Zizi Strater, Peoplemag, 23 Mar. 2023 It's tatted across my body in three different places. Dustin Dopirak, The Indianapolis Star, 21 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

back-formation from tatting

Noun (1)

trans-activating transcriptional regulation

Noun (2)

by shortening

First Known Use

Verb (1)

1858, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (1)

1985, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1981, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

circa 1982, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tat was in 1858

Dictionary Entries Near tat

Cite this Entry

“Tat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tat. Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

tat

verb
ˈtat
tatted; tatting
: to work at or make by tatting

Medical Definition

tat

1 of 2 noun
often capitalized
1
: a small protein produced by a lentivirus (as HIV) within infected cells that greatly increases the rate of viral transcription and replication and that is also secreted extracellularly where it plays a role in increasing viral replication in newly infected cells and in enhancing the susceptibility of T cells to infection

called also tat protein

2
: the viral gene that codes for the tat protein

TAT

2 of 2 abbreviation
thematic apperception test

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