Everyone is given the free right to express themselves in any way they want. Whether you do it by your words, your actions, or your appearance, it will be a part of your personality, as well as a reflection of it. Tattooing is one blunt way of expressing yourself. Tattoos are artworks you engrave into your skin, whether you want it to decorate your physique or symbolize something, and whether it may be an inked quote or a dragon tattoo, the purpose is served very well.
However, tattoos are a bit more special than just art sprawled on your skin. Being indelible, they are literally in your skin, almost permanently there and becoming a part of you. Therefore, it isn’t uncommon to give meaning to these tattoos or have them as a symbol of something you want to cherish for a long time. Here we collected the best dragon tattoo ideas with meaning and symbolism!
Dragon Tattoo: Meaning & Symbolism
Dragons are mythical creatures with several depictions across civilizations. The general consensus regarding their appearance is that they have large serpent-like bodies. The dragons of the western culture are winged, horned, four-legged, and has the ability to breathe fire at will. Dragons of the east, on the other hand, are wingless, four-legged, and resembles serpents more than western depictions. Western dragons are mostly considered to be ruthless and dark, while eastern dragons are thought to be noble and of high intelligence.
It is a common conception that dragons represent strength and power. These beasts are believed to possess power so great they are either revered or feared. This belief is carried on to tattoos. Dragon tattoos often represent strength, and anyone who has them can look intimidating. Criminals in Asian regions had dragon tattoos sprawled all over their bodies in one era, strengthening the association, although this practice has mostly died down or is not as prevalent nowadays. Milder tattoos can also mean freedom, as dragons are thought to be free creatures ruled by none. Asian dragons, in particular, represent balance, wisdom and good luck. All in all, dragon tattoos are largely associated with enigmatic power. Power is also a common association to dragon tattoos.
170 Meaningful Dragon Tattoo Ideas
Since dragons do not have a universal image to follow and civilizations have their own depictions of them, there are quite a number of dragon tattoo ideas you can choose from. Below are 170 dragon tattoo ideas and inspirations to get you fired up on the dragon tattoo you want!
Dragon on Sakura Trees Back Tattoo
Full Back Coverage Tiger and Dragon Tattoo
Serpentine Dragon with Flowers Tattoo
Half-sleeve Eastern Dragon Ink
Small Dragon Tattoo on Shoulder Blade
Fiendish Dragon Ink on Back
Jacket Style Black Dragon Tattoo
Grayscale Arm Dragon Mark
Scaly Green Arm Half-Dragon Ink
Black-and-White Serpentine Dragon Ink
Back Dragon with Blue Ball Tattoo
Back Red Dragon Ink
Pencil-drawn Style Grayscale Dragon Mark
Red Dragon Head Tattoo on Wrist
Majestic Blue Dragon Ink on Shoulder Blade
Back Dragon Mark with Flowers
Back Dragon and Tiger Brawl Mark
Back Solid Tribal Dragon Ink
Back Tribal Dragon Mark with Wings Spread Open
Black Elder Dragon Ink
Blue Dragon Head Arm Ink
Blue Elder Dragon Mark from Shoulder to Chest
Majestic Blue Dragon Ink from Arm to Chest
Cute Blue Dragon Tattoo
This tattoo is inspired by a monster card from the Japanese franchise Yu-Gi-Oh! The tattoo features the monster card Blue-Eyes White Dragon.
Blue-Green Arm Dragon Ink
Brown Dragon Ink on Back
The dragon strikes a threatening pose — curling its length on your back.
Green Celtic Dragon Tattoo
Frontal Black-and-White Dragon Tattoo
Elder Dragon Head Mark on Shoulder Blade
The menacing dragon head grants you a charm of strength and power that cannot be hidden by clothes.
Oriental Dragon Tattoo from Back to Arm
The mighty dragon carries with it a powerful oriental aura that wraps your back up to your arm.
Dragon Tattoo with Rose on Shoulder Blade
Small Circular Tribal Dragon Tattoo on Ankle
Colorful Dragon Shoulder Tattoo
Red Dragon Tattoo with Flower on Shoulder to Chest
Red-Eyed Dragon around Dagger Tattoo
Red and Black Dragon Arm Mark
Green Dragon with Girl Arm Ink
This dragon tattoo is inspired by the award-winning Japanese animated movie Spirited Away. The tattoo features the protagonists Chihiro Ogino and Haku, the river spirit in dragon form.
Full Back Coverage Dragon and Tiger Tattoo
Dragon and Tiger Back Tattoo
Full Back Coverage Dragon and Girl Tattoo
Red Smoky Dragon Ink with Tree on Back
Yin and Yang Dragon Mark on Back
Blue Winged Dragon Tattoo on Back
Tribal Dragon Tattoo with Flowers
Full Back Coverage Pencil-style Dragon Tattoo
Fierce Dragon Head Ink
Dragon on Bamboo Arm Tattoo
Dragon Outline Tattoo on Back
Majestic Dragon with Skull Tattoo on Back
Hip to Thigh Dragon Mark
Small Colorful Dragon Ink on Foot
Dark Horned Dragon Arm Tattoo
Small Winged Dragon Ink on Arm
Haired Dragon Mark on Back
Solid Brown Dragon Ink on Back
Red Scaly Dragon Head Mark on Arm
Monochrome Dragon Tattoo on Back
Medium Colorful Dragon Ink on Back
Chest to Shoulder Chinese Dragon Ink
Shoulder to Chest Dragon Mark
Colorful Dragon Ink on Side
Red Skeletal Dragon Mark on Back
Yellow Dragon Ink Sleeve
Small Monochrome Dragon Arm Tattoo
Small Tribal Dragon Tattoo on Neck
Dragon with Flowers Tattoo on Back
Red and Black Dragon with Flowers Tattoo on Back
The red and black motif of this dragon tattoo gives a very oriental feel to it.
Small Dragon Mark on Wrist
The small dragon tattoo on the wrist is perfect for those who want a subtle yet impacting ink.
Outline of Dragon Ink Hip to Thigh
Red Smoky Dragon with Roses Back Tattoo
Dragon with Red Flowers Back Tattoo
Dragon with Pink Flowers and Skull Tattoo
Full Back Coverage Fire-Breathing Dragon Tattoo with Castle
Elder Dragon Tattoo with Clouds on Back
Full Back Coverage Blue Dragon Ink
Back and Sleeve Oriental Dragon Ink
Full Back Coverage Light Blue Dragon Ink
Rusty Red Dragon Ink on Back
Colorful Japanese Dragon Arm Ink
Black and Red Dragon Ink on Front
Sleeve Green Dragon Ink
Monochrome Dragon Ink on Side
Monochrome Dragon Mark on Thigh
Green Dragon from Flower Front Tattoo
Green Dragon Tattoo on Hip
Back Green Dragon Tattoo with Woman
Green Outline Dragon Tattoo on Back
Vibrant Green Dragon Arm Ink
Monochrome Dragon Arm Tattoo with Skull
Aztec-themed Dragon Tattoo on Thigh
Irezumi Sleeve Dragon Tattoo
This dragon tattoo is a reflection of the traditional irezumi technique, a tattooing style popular in Japan before.
Irezumi Dragon Tattoo
Embrace the Japanese irezumi technique with this full body tattoo of the noble Japanese dragon.
Fuming Dragon Head Tattoo on Thigh
Dark Serpentine Dragon Mark on Thigh
Large Back Dragon Tattoo
Long Black Dragon Ink on Back
Lich Dragon Ink on Back
This tattoo makes you feel like the Lich Dragon: cold, ruthless, and blue.
Maori-inspired Dragon Tattoo on Back
Small Minimalist Dragon Mark
Tribal Dragon Ink on Arm
Green Oriental Dragon Ink on Back
Monochrome Back Dragon Tattoo
Full Back Coverage Monochrome Dragon Ink
Full Back Coverage Oriental Dragon Tattoo
Sleeve to Chest Purple Dragon Ink
Small Red Dragon Mark on Arm
Black Oriental Dragon Tattoo on Side
Oriental Dragon Ink on Back
Red Dragon Back Tattoo
Red Horned Dragon Head Tattoo
Red Dragon with Green Cross Tattoo on Arm
Full Back Coverage Red Dragon Tattoo
Small Red Dragon Mark below Nape
Full Back Coverage Red Scaly Dragon Tattoo
Red Motif Dragon Ink on Thigh
Red Western Dragon Ink on Thigh
Fierce Dragon Arm Ink
Reddish Dragon Tattoo on Shoulder
Grayscale Dragon Tattoo on Side
Shoulder to Chest Dragon Tattoo
Elder Oriental Dragon Mark from Shoulder to Chest
Shoulder to Chest Belittled Dragon Tattoo
Shoulder to Chest Monochrome Dragon Ink
Shoulder to Chest Monochrome Dragon Ink
Side Monochrome Calm Dragon Ink
Hip to Thigh Dragon with Red Smoke Tattoo
Solid Black Dragon Mark with Red Eye
Monochrome Detailed Dragon Ink on Arm
Calligraphic Dragon Arm Tattoo
Sketch-style Monochrome Dragon Tattoo on Shoulder Blade
Calligraphic Dragon Ink on Front
Fierce Dragon on Flight Tattoo on Back
Blue Fire-breathing Dragon Ink on Chest
Small Solid Color Dragon Mark on Chest
The small dragon flying across the chest represents the freedom that you have.
Small Monochrome Dragon Mark on Shoulder Blade
Small Colorful Dragon Wrist Tattoo
This is the subtlest dragon tattoo you can get, but it’s flashy enough with a cavalcade of colors.
Tribal Dragon Ink across Shoulders
Caduceus-inspired Dragon and Sword Tattoo on Arm
Monochrome Sword and Dragon Tattoo on Front
Sleeve to Chest Tiger and Dragon Ink
Long Tribal Dragon Ink on Arm
Small Tribal Dragon Ink below Nape
Small Tribal Dragon Tattoo on Arm
Large-scale Tribal Design Dragon Ink
Small Solid Tribal Dragon Mark on Arm
Tribal Dragon with Green Eyes and Fire Mark on Arm
Caduceus-inspired Tribal Dragon Tattoo on Back
Large Tribal Dragon Ink on Back
Purple and Black Tribal Dragon Ink on Back
Tribal Dragon Ink on Neck
Small Tribal Dragon Mark on Back
Small Tribal Dragon Ink below Ear
Solid Black Dragon Mark on Back
Small Tribal Dragon Mark on Neck
Small Solid Black Dragon Ink on Wrist
Serpentine Dragon Tattoo on Arm
Watercolor Dragon Ink on Shoulder Blade
Monochrome Dragon Mark on Back
The monochrome palette of the tattoo evokes a melancholic aura from the lone dragon on your back.
Black Dragon Ink with Blue Flames on Back
Small Yellow Dragon Ink on Chest
The yellow dragon is a supreme being, worthy to be flaunted on your front.
Green Dragon Mark on Leg
Green Tribal Dragon Tattoo on Leg
Brown Dragon Ink on Leg
Feel the regality of the dragon soak into your leg, and walk with the confidence that the tattoo grants you.
Small Magenta Dragon Tattoo on Leg
Guys & Men
Full Back Coverage Blue Oriental Dragon Mark
Monochrome Dragon with Cross Ink on Arm
Girls & Women
Long Monochrome Dragon Ink on Back
Small Green Dragon Mark on Hip
The green dragon on your hip has a charm of strength and sexiness that only dragon tattoos on women hips can pull off.
Dragon Tattoo: Where should you have it?
You can consider a dragon tattoo on the arm as a display of strength. As a conspicuous body part and one we use in our daily tradings, inking a symbol of power on the arm shows the vigor we possess and let everyone know we have it at one glance. Wrap your dragon around your arm like a worn sleeve and maybe even let it spill to your shoulders and chest.
Sleeve to Chest Green Oriental Dragon Ink
Colorful Sleeve Dragon Ink
There is a particular charm about tattoos on thighs that are specific to them. Dragons bring out the power and the sinew while the leg gives a sensual undertone to the aura. Also, thighs seem to be the sweet middle part for the sizes of tattoo canvas, with a surface area between arms’ and backs’. It is also an excellent part to hide a low-profile tattoo if you need to cover them.
Detailed Dragon Ink on Thigh
Small Diamond Dragon Tattoo on Thigh
The back is the best place to place full-size dragon tattoos because of the sheer expanse of skin available. There are those who have dragon tattoos that thoroughly covers the area of the back. While some have tattoos that might not fully cover it, it is large nonetheless. Some can also stay conservative and have only their shoulder blades or half their backs inked.
Red Dragon Outline Mark on Back
Blue Dragon with Yellow Eyes Ink on Back
Final Thoughts on Dragon Tattoos
The dragon has varying interpretations per culture, but there is a common conception that we can hold to be universal. Dragons represent strength, power, and freedom. In the confines of its mythical existence, we have feared the full brute of its might. We have revered in its reign, and we have nurtured a mild sense of envy to its ability to enjoy the vast expanse of the sky, whether winged or not. But even if the dragon itself is a figment of human imagination, the values we have associated with it certainly aren’t. Letting each drop of ink soak into the insides of our skin and instilling the face of the creature with the pain of the pricking needles are physical manifestations of the values we hold on to. To give a corporal form and deep meaning to these values, the dragon tattoo serves a part of that purpose.
Hey readers! I’m Jeffrey and your tattoo artist of the day;) I have been drawing and painting my whole life, and after graduating high school I decided it was time for a bigger challenge and I started drawing on people. I’m so fortunate I got to express my creativity through my body art and even more so to share my passion with my now wife Emilie. She started working with me in my tattoo shop as a piercer and I started writing about and photographing, my creations on this blog. I love to hear from you and hope you enjoy our work together!