Main definitions of tat in English

: tat1tat2tat3tat4

tat1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Make (a decorative mat or edging) by tying knots in thread and using a small shuttle to form lace:

    ‘she sometimes made dresses in the evening while Momma tatted doilies’
    • ‘True princesses, though, like tatting lace, embroidery, balls, affairs of the state, and so on and so on.’
    • ‘We both worked on our respective needlework projects, and I taught Lars to tat lace.’
    • ‘Drawing on her incongruous but irrepressible skills as a housewife, she had tatted lengths of batik, draped bolts of brocade, swathed silk, swagged satin, ruched, ruffed, hemmed and hawed.’
    • ‘I can also tat and crochet laces or other fine works.’
    • ‘‘But I didn't have to make bread,’ she says, sitting at the table tatting lace, ginger-white hair pulled back into a ballet dancer's bun.’

Origin

Late 19th century: back-formation from tatting.

Pronunciation:

tat

/tat/

Main definitions of tat in English

: tat1tat2tat3tat4

tat2

noun

British
informal
  • [mass noun] Tasteless or shoddy clothes, jewellery, or ornaments:

    ‘the place was decorated with all manner of gaudy tat’
    • ‘Give It allows friends and relatives to donate a sum of money to a good cause instead of buying a shoddy piece of tat that's destined for the charity shop.’
    • ‘Shoes aside (for they are the most perfect, gorgeous shoes I have ever owned or am ever likely to own), Prada clothing turns out to be overpriced tat which doesn't last.’
    • ‘But are the creators exploiting the pester power of Balamory fans willing to spend vast sums of pocket money pounds on any old piece of tat with a Balamory logo?’
    • ‘The audience adorn themselves in patriotic tat, such as Union Jack hats and novelty polyester ties, and sing songs about Britain's greatness whilst waving plastic flags.’
    • ‘Stansted is a powerful architectural statement; we should respect Foster's vision and not mask it with tat.’
    • ‘Second, a belly shirt and stray tat does not make one a porn star.’
    • ‘Hiring a skip, we spent days clearing the place of his useless tat before we could move our own piles of useless tat in.’
    • ‘Let's just say, America's great for tat.’
    • ‘And with the Easter weekend opening up before us like Goatse man's bottom, what better time to promote the best tat our country has to offer.’
    • ‘Well, me and the wife went to Ocean Finance to buy some new furniture to replace this gaudy tat.’
    • ‘But the desire for all this ephemeral and disposable tat could be avoided, claim the critics, by curtailing or even banning advertising aimed directly at children.’
    • ‘Following the success of a class action suit against tobacco manufacturers, and the mooted suit against junk food companies, is there perhaps a chance of a similar suit against the purveyors of tat?’
    • ‘He intimates that the buyers of such tat should surely not be labelled ‘tasteless buffoons,’ and I agree the second of those words is a bit strong.’
    • ‘When you come up from the boats and get to the top of Westminster Bridge, it is heaving with tourists and whenever somewhere is heaving with tourists you'll find people trying to sell them a lot of tourist tat.’
    • ‘Cafes, fun fairs, tat shops and arts and crafts litter the Venice beachfront, but it is the stallholders rather than the stalls themselves that provide the interest.’
    • ‘Which goes some way to explaining why I'm currently sitting surrounded by piles of books, items of clothing and random tat.’
    • ‘The World Cup has given men licence to buy all manner of tat.’
    • ‘Immediately outside the aquarium lies Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck's 1945 novel, but now a sardine-free street full of tourist tat.’
    • ‘The girls' high-street finery, a Lycra mishmash of tat and glitter, sparkles feebly under red, yellow and purple neon strip lights.’
    • ‘Talking of Americans, a couple of them wandered into Bric Brac, one of the many shops around here selling tourist tat, and emerged with a garish, cat-shaped jug.’

Origin

Mid 19th century (in the senses ‘rag’ and ‘person in rags’): probably a back-formation from tatty.

Pronunciation:

tat

/tat/

Main definitions of tat in English

: tat1tat2tat3tat4

tat3

(also tatt)

noun

informal
  • A tattoo:

    ‘he wants to get his tats removed’
    • ‘After seeing Cal's tat, I was thinking that maybe I should get one.’
    • ‘In about 30 seconds he had done my tatt.’
    • ‘The tat on my forearm was only really painful when it got too close to the elbow on that arm.’
    • ‘The neatest tat I've seen was on a Frenchman's wrist, a smallish cut-along-dotted-line drawing, complete with tiny scissors.’
    • ‘Rodriguez doesn't have any tats on his wrist.’
    • ‘I have seen some really bad work (tatts) in my life, and I made sure I talked with and researched each artist.’
    • ‘Considering you have decided on a bicep tat the pain shouldn't be too bad.’
    • ‘The only tatt I've ever been responsible about was my back one.’
    • ‘He's even got a tatt on his shin.’
    • ‘He's got tats on his giant muscles which he does not cover with a shirt.’
    • ‘I thought about getting a tatt for eleven years.’
    • ‘Firstly I thought I would get a tattoo but figured that the repeated shaving or waxing required to showcase the picture might wear out the tat.’
    • ‘The American Society of Dermatological Surgery puts tat regretees at over half, and the British Journal of Dermatology says three-quarters of everybody who gets a tattoo regrets it later.’

Pronunciation:

tat

/tat/

Main definitions of tat in English

: tat1tat2tat3tat4

tat4

noun

in phrase tit for tat

Pronunciation:

tat

/tat/