50+ Stunning Tattoo Designs With Meaning - 2021
Updated At 30 Mar 21
Are you looking for some tattoos with meaning? Then, you have come to the right place!
Let’s just accept it. At least once in our lives, all of us have dreamed of getting a tattoo. And some of us have even gotten one (or more!). Tattoos have always received mixed reactions. Some love them and some don’t. But, what others think doesn’t matter as long as you choose the right one for you. After all, tattoos are just another representation of your character and personality. In such a case, it becomes important to know what each tattoo means and represents.
Before getting inked you must know what you are getting. So, we have brought you some tattoo meaning ideas. From small meaningful tattoos to the big bold ones, we have covered them all.
What’s the wait? Let’s begin!
50+ Best Tattoo Designs With Meaning
1. Roses And Butterfly
Each tattoo has its meaning and significance. A variety of interpretations have developed over the years for tattoos with meaning. A red rose is generally taken to be a symbol of love, passion, or loyalty. A butterfly on the other hand represents transformation. When these two symbols are joined together, they come to represent a symbol of love hinting at the transformation in one’s love life.
2. Sword And Snake
With our list of tattoo meaning ideas, you will not run out of inspiration. The next one on our list is another combination. A snake tattoo represents the creature’s strength, intelligence, and fierceness. It is capable of attacking prey that is way bigger than its size. Swords too are a symbol of bravery, courage, and warrior spirit. A snake coiled around a sword is seen to represent mortality in many cultures. It also symbolizes a warrior who is ready to defend its keep.
3. Angel Wings
Angel wings are one of the most popular tattoos with meaning. The great thing about this tattoo is its versatile nature. With each variation of design comes a different interpretation. A pair of strong angel wings, like the ones pictured here, depicts strength and perseverance. They also represent purity, courage, love, and perseverance.
4. Ravishing Raven
Indeed, ravens have traditionally been seen as a symbol of death and destruction. But that is not all for them. These dark and mysterious creatures are highly intelligent. They can also speak. Ravens have a significant place in the Norse mythology where they were seen as powerful black birds representing death, survival, and rebirth. Ravens form one of the best meaningful tattoos for men.
5. Dainty Dandelion
Dandelions are good meaningful tattoos for girls. They are a constant reminder to us of the temporary nature of life. Dandelions teach us that nothing lasts forever and we should make the most of it when we have the chance. They are also a symbol of hopes and dreams. When combined with birds, this tattoo symbolizes the realization and fulfillment of one’s hopes and desires.
6. Meaningful Tattoo Symbols
Meaningful wrist tattoos are all the rage this year. They comprise of small symbols with big and powerful meanings. This particular tattoo uses two different symbols for both wrists. The Om symbol is a major part of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. It is believed that this is the first sound made by the universe. It also represents the motion of the universe. The Unalome symbol, on the other hand, has a similar significance. It represents wisdom and has some similarities in its stricture with the third eye of the Hindu God Shiva.
Finding the perfect tattoos with meaning is a real struggle and we know it. Let the dragonfly take you out of your confused state. A dragonfly is a sign of all things positive. In many cultures across the world, it is understood to be a symbol of change, peace, prosperity, and good luck. Some ancient cultures even called dragonflies the messenger between worlds. So, if you are looking for some positivity and prosperity in your life, this is the choice for you.
8. Howling Wolf
Wolves are strong and fierce animals of the wild. They travel in packs and take care of each other. They find a strong significance in the Native American Culture where wolves are considered spirit guides. Thus, a wolf tattoo symbolizes strength and loyalty. The wearer of a wolf tattoo would come off as someone protective of his family and loved ones. Howling wolves also represent a spirit that is free and has a connection to the wild.
9. Rose For The Sides
You will find that most tattoos with meanings somewhere have a connection with sailors. The most popular interpretation of a rose tattoo comes from Greek mythology. Since it symbolizes love, passion, and beauty, it is also said to be a symbolization of the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. As for sailors, they used to get rose tattoos on their bodies to remind themselves of the women in their life whom they had to leave behind as they went to the sea.
10. Sword Mania
Swords are meaningful tattoos for women as well as men. They were the choice of weapon in wars before the modern weaponry came into the picture. From Vikings to Samurais, many warriors were known for their sword skills. A sword tattoo thus symbolizes courage, protection, strength, and power.
11. The Ouroboros Tattoo
The Ouroboros symbol is one of the most popular tattoos with meaning. It comprises of a snake that is eating its tail. Taken from Norse mythology, this symbol represents the united character of the universe. It is also a representative of the eternal cycle of rebirth and destruction. You can get it inked anywhere on your body but when done around the ankle, it looks very stunning.
Swallows are generally associated with freedom and happiness. The swallow tattoo meaning ideas also has a connection with the sailors. Many things are similar between sailors and swallows. These birds are known to return consistently at the same nesting site. Like sailors, they also travel long distances and brave harsh conditions to reach their destinations. Sailors got a swallow tattoo to ensure a successful sailing journey. It was also believed that in case of a sailor’s death while on the sea, the swallow would guide his spirit to the afterworld.
13. Phases Of Moon
Many meaningful tattoo symbols have come together to form this one beautiful and impressive tattoo. The butterfly is symbolic of transformation while the moon represents feminine power and beauty. The phases of the moon symbolize purity, dreams, and the circle of life and death. They are also a representation of one’s karma. Overall this tattoo reeks of strong feminine power and energy making it one of the best choices of meaningful tattoos for women.
Sunflowers are bright yellow flowers reminiscent of warm summer days. These flowers are known for their eternal connection with the sun and their constant movement towards it. A sunflower symbolizes happiness, romance, positivity, good luck, and faithfulness. The sunflower tattoo ideas for women with meaning are said to emerge from Greek mythology where it stands as a symbol of a hopeful, everlasting, and loyal love. This is a watercolor tattoo that brings forth the yellow color of these flowers which has a meaning of its own.
15. Sword With A Crown
There are many tattoos with meaning that often uses a combination of symbols and achieve a new meaning altogether. A crown symbolizes royal authority, power, and dominance. It is also symbolic of leadership, longevity, and nobility. The sword on the other hand represents honor, strength, courage, justice, and protection. Together, both these tattoo symbols mean the power that is located within the throne.
16. Viking Tattoo Sleeve
This Viking tattoo sleeve comprising of the rune symbols, Fenrir, the wolf, and the Helm of Awe will leave you in total awe. The majestic Fenrir wolf is the son of Loki and God of Destruction according to Norse mythology. He is a symbol of undeniable power, strength, and courage. It is said that he brought Ragnarok as revenge against the Gods for what was done to his family. Thus, he also symbolizes love for one’s family. The Helm of awe has eight-armed spikes that emerge outwards from the center. Viking warriors believed that it gave them protection and courage to fight their enemy. As for the rune symbols, each depicts a different God and power.
17. Wise Old Tree
Trees are a popular option if you are looking for tattoos with meaning. A tree represents life, nature as well as the resistance, endurance, and wisdom that comes with it. The most common design is the tree of life that is a tree tattooed with its branches and roots in a circular fashion. This circular structure represents the circle of life.
18. Red Rose
A red rose is a very popular choice of meaningful tattoos for girls. It is a symbol of romance, loyalty, and a love that is passionate. But like any other symbol, a red rose can also mean other things. Apart from being a symbol of love, it is also seen as a symbol of sacrifice. You can get a red rose tattooed in remembrance of somebody special in life now no longer alive.
19. Koi Fish Tattoo
The Japanese koi fish is another popular choice when it comes to getting inked with tattoos with meaning. This fish symbolizes strength, perseverance, prosperity, and determination. They are also seen as a symbol of good luck by many. They are often tattooed in pairs to represent the dual nature of life and how it exists in perfect harmony.
20. Ouroboros Snake And Phases Of Moon
The term Ouroboros comprises two words, “oura” meaning tail and “robos” meaning eating. Thus, the word Ouroboros means he who eats his tail. This symbol holds a special significance in Norse mythology and represents the eternal cycle of death and rebirth. The phases of moon tattoo is a perfect partner here as it also symbolizes birth, death, and reincarnation.
21. Butterfly On Thigh
Quite some tattoo meaning ideas find inspiration from nature and life. The butterfly tattoo is one such example. It is one of the most popular choices amongst small meaningful tattoos as well as big bold motifs. Butterflies are symbolic of hope, beauty, and transformation. They represent new beginnings and the ability to set oneself free from troubled waters.
22. Snake In Floral Vine
Snakes are extremely powerful creatures with great wits and strength. They are highly intelligent and adaptable. They are also symbolic of rebirth as they are known for shedding their skin and emerging anew. Roses are a popular representation of all things love and beauty. When a snake is shown to be coiled amongst roses, it represents love so passionate that it crossed the lines and became temptation leading to the loss of innocence.
Here is one of the most sought after tattoos with meaning. The phoenix tattoo is a popular choice amongst meaningful tattoos for men. You can get it inked on your arms or your chest. The legend says that a phoenix is a mighty creature that goes on to live for a thousand years. When they are near their end, they make a nest and set themselves on fire only to emerge again from their ashes, young and strong. Thus, a phoenix tattoo represents rebirth, immortality, and victory over death. It can also be interpreted to mean the never-dying spirit of one’s character.
24. The Mighty Dragon
Dragons form a big part of the tattoos with meaning catalog these days. And honestly, we are not surprised. These ancient and mighty creatures are part of old legends and known for courage, strength, and fierceness. The South Asian cultures view dragons as noble and full of wisdom while the West has seen them as evil and harbingers of destruction. Amidst the wide range of their meanings, a red dragon tattoo is specifically symbolic of strength.
25. Tattoo Ideas For Women With Meaning
A traditional tattoo sleeve is a collection of individual symbols that cover a whole limb. They sometimes comprise of pieces inked by different artists. This particular sleeve is a collection of several tattoos that have varied meanings. A clock represents life and death. It could also mean an understanding of the passing time. Tiger is a symbol of untamable power, passion, courage, and free spirit. Roses act as great space fillers while also adding a beautiful feminine aspect to the whole tattoo.
26. Bear Claw
Here is another popular choice of meaningful tattoos for men. A bear claw tattoo can mean several things ranging from power and strength to maternal instincts. Bears are powerful and ferocious animals of the wild with unmatched strength. But despite their tough exteriors, bears are considered to be soft from the inside. They hold great value in the Native American culture and are seen to symbolize leadership.
Medusa has been treated as a villain forever by pop culture when in reality she symbolizes protection. When it comes to tattoos with meaning, no other tattoo can hold so much meaning and value as much as this one. It will be a great way to honor and represent feminism as Medusa is a symbol of the strong and invincible feminine power.
28. Lotus Symbols
Lotus and Unalome are two meaningful tattoo symbols that can be coupled together effortlessly to enhance the meaning of the whole piece. The Unalome symbol is made up of different smaller symbols that come together to represent the journey of life. It is a symbol with significance in Hinduism and looks somewhat similar to Lord Shiva’s third eye which leads to the end of the world if opened. Lotus, on the other hand, represents peace, harmony, and perseverance. It is symbolic of the strength of character making it the perfect companion for the Unalome symbol.
29. Skull With Flowers
If you look for the skull tattoo meaning ideas, you would be surprised. You will find that a skull tattoo is not as morbid as it sounds. A skull tattoo is a reminder of our mortality. When combined with roses and butterflies, it takes on new meanings. It becomes an homage to the never-ending circle of life and death. It comes to represent that for every death you see, there is also a new life force being born.
The internet has made a lot of jokes about moths and their obsession with light. But moths are fascinating creatures that represent life and transformation. They can look as beautiful as a butterfly and represent renewal and rebirth. Many cultures believe that moths can guide you to the light owing to their connection to the moon. The moth tattoo here comes with more small meaningful tattoos. The floral mandala represents the circle of life while the heart chakra on top of it is symbolic of healing, sharing, compassion, and forgiveness.
31. Semicolon Tattoo
The semicolon tattoos have gained immense popularity as tattoos with meaning. A semicolon is punctuation used in grammar to mark a pause in a sentence. It means the author could have chosen to end the sentence but he did not. Instead, he used a semicolon to merely introduce a pause. This is from where the semicolon tattoo gets its meaning and significance. It has become a symbol of solidarity against suicide, depression, and other mental illnesses. It means that the wearer chose to take a break and not end their life. It has now come to represent the strength of one’s character, that their story is not finished just yet.
32. Compass For Wanderlust
This compass and arrow tattoo is one of the best meaningful tattoos for men. The compass is used for finding directions and thus, symbolizes new directions in one’s life or a new chapter. The arrow on the other hand is a symbol of courage, determination, and perseverance. Together, they represent a definite plan or a new direction that you might aspire for. It would symbolize that no matter how distant your goals are, you will reach them.
33. Soaring Eagle
Eagles, specifically the bald eagle can remind one of America. It symbolizes patriotism and can also mean to represent America itself, the land of the free. But, eagles also hold significance in the Native American culture. These are the birds that are highly intelligent and can see their prey on the ground while still being high in the sky. These majestic creatures are rightfully known as the king of skies. A soaring eagle is a classic example of tattoos with meaning.
34. Meaningful Tattoos For Women
This is a between the breast tattoo for women comprising mainly of two symbols, rose and triangles. A rose as we know is a symbol of all things beauty, love, and passion. It also represents loyalty and sacrifice. The triangle on the other hand can have varied meanings. From representing the three important aspects of your life to being a symbol of life and humanity, there are multiple interpretations of this tattoo symbol. A rose in a triangle becomes a symbol of freedom in love and beauty.
35. Loving Embrace
This self-embracing tattoo is a modern representation of self-love. It is one of the most popular tattoos with meanings amongst women. The flowers sprouting in place of the head represent the growth of character. It is symbolic of one’s journey towards self-realization and acceptance.
36. Meaningful Tattoos For Men
Angel wings are popular amongst men and women alike. They are often inked at the shoulder blades in great detail as if the person had wings. They are symbolic of one’s faith and the desire to be close to God. They can also symbolize protection, freedom, love, courage, and purity. These are often coupled with the initials of a loved one or a quote to enhance its meaning.
37. Sun And Moon Medley
This medley of the sun and the moon form one of the top choices amongst meaningful tattoos for girls. Sun is the supreme power in our universe and symbolizes life whereas the moon is a symbol of death and resurrection. The sun and moon tattoo, thus, represents the union of two opposing forces. It represents unity, cooperation, and harmony between opposites.
38. Monarch Butterfly
Here is another one of the butterfly tattoos with meaning for you. Butterflies are known as symbols of beauty, freedom, and transformation. But, when it comes to specifically the monarch butterfly tattoo, it means so much more. The monarch butterfly tattoo represents royalty and returning spirits. They hold special significance in the Mexican culture as they are seen to be a sign of the spirits returning to their earthly homes on the day of the dead.
39. Sword Tattoos With Meaning
The sword and the rose tattoo is one of the most stunning tattoo ideas for women with meaning that will leave you in awe. This popular design represents the power of love. When the powerful sword is surrounded by roses, it depicts the ability to push away conflict and to live in peace and harmony. It is also symbolic of the balance of life.
40. Watercolor Tattoos
This is one of the most powerful and meaningful tattoos for women. Even though semicolon is a small punctuation mark, it holds big significance. It has now become a symbol of solidarity against suicide. It represents the strength of one’s character and how they gathered the strength to continue their story. It is a reminder of how far the person has come in their journey. The watercolor pattern is used to make a loose structure of a butterfly which represents transformation. Thus, it enhances the message of strength.
41. Sun Shoulder Tattoo
Sun is the most powerful cosmic entity. A sun tattoo symbolizes power, fertility, strength, passion, courage, light, and knowledge. It is also symbolic of new beginnings, truth, and divine powers. It is believed that the sun’s rays will guide you towards the light. Thus, this is a wonderful tattoo idea for giving an ode to that person in your life who brought you out of the darkness.
42. Sunflower And Symbols
Here is another one of the positive tattoos with meaning. Sunflowers are known for their movement towards the sun. They are also associated with light, warmth, beauty, and happiness. According to Chinese traditions, sunflowers bring good luck. In Greek mythology, they symbolize everlasting and hopeful love. The two superimposed triangles beneath it are a popular choice of symbols. They represent humanity, creativity, and simplicity. Since they are pointing upwards, they are said to represent fire.
43. The All-Seeing Eye
Another one of the most popular and meaning tattoo symbols is the all Seeing Eye that is otherwise known as the eye of providence. It has varied representations and meanings across different religions and cultures. The most common and popular belief is that this all Seeing Eye represents the omnipresence of God. It means that God is watching over the human race. The eye of providence often comes enclosed within a triangle and surrounded by rays of light.
44. Deer Tattoo
A deer is the leader and caretaker of his pack. So, it is only obvious that a deer tattoo represents love, nobility, strength, power, purity, longevity, and freedom. A deer is also highly adaptable to its surroundings and is found in almost every continent. This tattoo has also a connection to faith. It is said to be inspired from Psalm 18:33 that reads “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.” Since the tattoo pictured here uses tree branches as the base, this tattoo can be understood to mean a connection with the wild and free spirits. This is one of those tattoos with meaning galore.
45. For Your Faith
A crown of thorns is one of those meaningful tattoo symbols that find its roots within Christianity. One interpretation of this tattoo would be an homage to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Out of Christianity, thorns represent the hardships in life and are a popular symbol of the ability to overcome difficulties. A thorny vine is also symbolic of life, survival, strength, progress, and endurance.
46. Floral Mandala Tattoo
A mandala is an important part of many cultures and religions. It has its roots, especially in Buddhism and Hinduism. A mandala is said to represent the circle of life and the structure of the universe itself. It starts from a circular motif and expands in the same circular fashion. However, with time, there have been many modifications in the mandala tattoo design. This one is a lotus mandala tattoo that symbolizes purity, health, growth, empathy, love, and development. It represents the purity of mind, soul, and body and is often seen as a symbol of creativity as well as wealth.
47. Anchor Tattoo With Seagulls
An anchor is a popular choice of tattoos with meaning for men. An anchor is used to stall a ship in the sea. It symbolizes strength and stability. This is a symbol taken directly from nautical adventures but is also something that was originally made popular by sailors. Remember, Popeye, the sailor man, and his famous anchor tattoo? Anchors are often inked with seagulls. They complement the grounded symbolism of anchors pretty well. Sailors identify seagulls with the land. It reminds them of home. Seeing flying seagulls meant land was near. Thus seagulls as small meaningful tattoos represent land and everything that exists on land including love, home, family, and safe haven.
48. Small Meaningful Tattoos With Meaning
A triangle tattoo can be interpreted to mean many different things. There is no end to the variation in its meanings. It can mean a lot of things and can be incorporated with a lot of designs. It can represent balance, wisdom, and time. It can be used to represent any three vital things. For instance, in Christianity, a triangle is used to represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is also often used with the eye of providence. It is one of the best choices for meaningful wrist tattoos considering its versatility.
49. Feathery Dreams
Feather tattoos are popular meaningful tattoos for women. It bears different meanings depending upon the bird it belongs to. It is generally symbolic of independence and free will. The flying birds that accompany the feather represent freedom. Some cultures believe that birds are messengers from the spirit world. They are considered to be a symbol of truth, courage, bravery and so much more.
50. Beautiful Raven Tattoo
Ravens have been a common theme when it comes to meaningful tattoos for men. Ravens are dark and mysterious creatures that are most commonly associated with negative connotations of death and misery. But, for every negative, there is also a positive connotation. Ravens are also seen as a sign of light, intelligence, wisdom, insight, magic, and prophecy. A clock is yet another symbol that symbolizes both life and death. It also represents the passing of time and one’s acceptance and realization of the same. A common interpretation for both these symbols could hint at the awareness of death and mortality.
51. Viking Symbols For Back
These small meaningful tattoos are inspired by the Viking warriors. This is the Inguz symbol which symbolizes a new direction in life, great power, strength to complete one’s goals, and a new life altogether.
52. Mandala Sleeve Tattoo
A mandala sleeve tattoo is one of the most sought after tattoos with meaning. This symbol has its roots in many religions and cultures. Mandala is a Sanskrit word that translates to circle. It has deep meanings associated with it. It is believed that a mandala design represents the circle of life. Some believe that it represents the structure of the universe. The best thing about these meaningful tattoo symbols is the fact that they can be customized as per a person’s desires. Any number of designs and patterns can be chosen to fill a mandala up thus, making every mandala a unique design.