40 Minimalist One-Word Tattoo Ideas That Are Beautiful On Everyone

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woman getting one word tattoo

Trying to decide on what tattoo you want to get can be super stressful. I know when I was considering my first tattoo, I had about ten different ideas that all seemed great, but were just not perfect – or “me” – enough to commit to.

I eventually got something I was happy with, but now that I am starting to save up some cash for my next tattoo, I’m feeling that indecision creep up on me again.

One kind of tattoo I’ve always been fond of is the one word tattoo.

One word tattoos can make a huge statement, or mean something really deep and important, especially if it really captures your personality or being.

That said, actually thinking of a word that’s original and personal enough to put on your body can be a long process, so I recommend giving yourself a good few months to really toss around some ideas before you settle on one.

It can be easy to want to get a one-word tattoo that you see everywhere online, much like it seems like a good idea to get a butterfly or infinity loop simply because everyone has one, but finding that one perfect word to get tattooed on your body is what will take it from ordinary to totally you.

And trust me when I say that it’s better to wait a year to find that special word instead of getting overexcited and getting something done tomorrow.

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Being the giant book nerd that I am, a great place to start when looking for the perfect word (or quote) for your next tattoo is your favorite book (or movie or song if that’s more your thing).

Books and songs are great because they can have totally unique words that only mean something to you (and the person who wrote them, of course).

Another thing that’s important to remember about finding the perfect word for your next tattoo is that it doesn’t have to be in English — or any language you speak, for that matter. (Though it does help to know what your tattoo means before you get inked.)

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There are so many words out there in other languages that invoke a feeling or describe a situation that could take you a paragraph to explain in English, which, in my opinion, can be more special than just choosing any word.

And if that doesn’t make a meaningful statement or complement your complex personality, nothing will.

Plus, no matter what word you choose – in English or otherwise – it’s a great conversation starter and will probably be one of the more memorable tattoos you get.

To help get you started, here are the best one-word tattoo ideas to inspire your next ink.

1. Smile

Under the arm on the ribs.

2. Breathe

Something sweet and simple on your wrist.

3. Trust

To remind you who to trust... and who not to.

4. Power

Both feminine and powerful.

5. Loyalty

To remind you where you stand.

6. Free

A simple way to show how you choose to live your life.

7. Happiness

For when you're feeling down.

8. Freedom

To remind yourself of what you're working for.

9. Faith

In times of doubt.

10. Decide

To help push you in the right direction.

11. Hope

To remind you that there's always a bright side.

12. Unconditionally

To remind you of the type of love you deserve.

13. Enough

It's okay to say "no".

14. Appreciate

To remind you to be grateful of the things in your life.

15. Purity

For when you need it most.

16. Fearless

To give you courage.

17. Bellissimo/Bellisima

Beautiful (in Italian)..

18. Saudade

A Portuguese word that means "a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia".

19. Self

This tattoo is perfect for all of the self-aware people who want a reminder of what's most important.

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20. Believe

Good things happen when you believe, so why not get it tatted where you can see it every day?

21. Live

A "live" tattoo right on your ribs? Very deep.

22. L'espoir

This tattoo means "hope" in French, which is both super romantic and super mysterious.

23. Dreamer

What I love most about this tattoo is that your dreams are almost always crazy and over-the-top, so your tattoo of the word should be the same, right?

24. Joy

This tat is both dainty and straight to the point, and is perfect for anyone who always has a smile on their face.

25. Beautiful

At first glance, this looks like it's just a rose tattoo with a fancy stem, but it really says "beautiful," which it really beautiful.

26. Soul

Whether your soul is most important to you or you just want a little more soul in your every day life, this tattoo is for you.

27. Ohana

Of course, everyone knows that Ohana means family, thanks to Lilo and Stitch, but it's still an important thing to remember.

28. Wanderlust

Love to travel or wish you could be traveling the world right now? Then this is your next tattoo.

29. Courage

Courage is important to have, but sometimes, we could use a little reminder when times get tough.

30. Namaste

If you're a yoga fan or you just need some balance and a peaceful word, a "namaste" tattoo is perfect for you.

31. Brave

People are brave for a lot of different reasons and sometimes, you just need the word right on your body to be that reminder when you're not feeling so brave.

32. Family

If Ohana isn't your thing, then this "family" tattoo will be. Plus, you can have the cursive flow into a heart to make it extra special.

33. Resilience

Being resilient means being able to get back up after being knocked down, so if you're a tough cookie, this should be your next ink.

34. Peculiar

We're all a little strange, or peculiar, so why not let the world know you're not afraid to be yourself?

35. Adventure

If you're always looking for adventure, whether that's through travel or life experiences, this is perfect for you.

36. Human

To remind us that we all are.

37. Worthy

Know your value.

38. Balance

Keep yourself centered.

39. Consistency

It makes all the difference.

40. Your name

The most important word of all.

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Emily Ratay is a full-time writer living in Pittsburgh.