50 Meaningful One Word Tattoos To Ink On Your Body

Photo: Getty
one word tattoos

While they say a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes it just takes one word to capture something more meaningful than a picture, especially when it comes to meaningful tattoos.

Whether a feeling, a place, a desire, or a sense of self, one or two words alone can have a beautiful representation — so much so that many individuals chose special words to use as permanent statements on their bodies in the form of small, one-word tattoos.

RELATED: 20 Unique Tattoo Ideas To Get You Ready For Some New Ink

Instagram is a particularly great source for anyone hoping to find great examples of small, minimalist tattoo ideas and designs.

Scroll ahead to check our selection of the 50 best small, meaningful one (or two) word tattoos for both men and women.

50 Meaningful One-Word Tattoos

1. Hope

Photo credit: Arte & Amor Tattoo

Get a tattoo that drives you to continue believing in yourself, your future, and others.

2. Adventure

Photo credit: soniagarciamat_tattoo

For those individuals that crave their next moment of excitement, remember to always keep your sense of adventure.

3. Create

Photo credit: Priscila Manzini

No computer nor app can take away our sense of creativity. For those who think with their right-brain, remember to never stop creating.

4. Strength

Photo credit: dani.dtattoo

We never realize how strong we are until we've been put through the ringer, and this tattoo will constantly remind you of your own power.

5. Liberty

Photo credit: Ungrey

As the founding fathers said, life and liberty come hand in hand.

6. Wild

Photo credit: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

There are many interpretations to the word wild, and when it's inked onto your body, you make the rules. Let your wild run, always.

7. Art

Photo credit: Gabriel R. Pradas

Art comes in many forms, but at the end of the day, it matters that you've created, enjoyed, and experienced it.

8. Saudade

Photo credit: Arte & Amor Tattoo

A Portuguese word that does not translate directly into English, saudade is "a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return."

9. NYC (or your favorite city)

Photo credit: miko_nyctattoo

And we won't judge if it's Brooklyn.

10. Forever

Photo credit: nikakostattoo

What's more permanent, or forever, than a tattoo? A word that speaks to a lifelong commitment.

RELATED: 48 Best Inspirational Quotes For Motivational Tattoo Ideas With Meaning

11. 'Ohana

Photo credit: Subtle Tattoos

'Ohana means family in Hawaiian, "in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional. The concept emphasizes that families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another."

12. Believe

Photo credit: 682A IA / shutterstock

Belief is such a strong feeling, it can lead massive crowds of people to do the unthinkable.

13. Balance

Photo credit:

We all strive for balance, and by having this word inked onto our bodies, it's a constant reminder to seek it out.

14. Sophrosyne

Photo credit: Black Side Tattoo

Sophosyne "is an ancient Greek concept of an ideal of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in one well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, such as temperance, moderation, prudence, purity, decorum and self-control."

Plus, it's a great conversation starter.

15. Breathe

Photo credit: Chang West 4 Tattoo Manhattan

With the rise of responsibility and mental health awareness, it's important to remember that life goes on and to breathe and take one day at a time.

16. Faith

Photo credit: conlll

Never lose your faith, whether it's in your God, yourself, or those around you.

17. Twinkle

Photo credit: Shlok Patel

Whether it's the twinkle in your love's eyes or the stars in the sky, never lose those magical moments.

18. Dreamer

Photo credit: konstantin_siegel

We are only as powerful as our dreams. No idea is too big and out of reach.

19. Meraki

Photo credit: becarocks

Originating in Greek, Merak "is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe what happens when you leave a piece of yourself (your soul, creativity, or love) in your work. When you love doing something, anything, so much that you put something of yourself into it."

20. Lucky

Photo credit: arte_e_amor_tattoo

Some of us are so lucky to be handed the cards we're dealt, but sometimes we forget. This tattoo will stand as a reminder to be grateful for how lucky we are, and hopefully inspire us to help others.

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21. Resilience

Photo credit: lazzaretti.rodrigo

Resilience was surprisingly one of the most common choices as a tattoo. Why? Because no matter your circumstance or background, we surprise ourself to get back up and continue to fight.

22. Passion

Photo credit: sun_69customtattoo_kohsamui

Some believe that our passions make us who we are, and are important aspects of mankind.

23. Eleutheromania​​

Photo credit: minhtam_nguyenmtn

Eleutheromania (or eleutherophilia) is "a mania or frantic zeal for freedom"

24. Inhale

Photo credit: designbyyoum

Like breathe, inhale is a nice visual to correlate with taking each situation at face value. Remember, tomorrow is another day, and inhale through times of anxiety and stress.

25. Lionheart

Photo credit: wood_n_needle

Often meant to describe someone with a brave and courageous heart, this play on words tattoo will symbolize you have the heart and strength of the iconic lion.

26. Strong

Photo credit: tattooist_jing

Power on and always remember your strength. This inspirational tattoo will always be a nice reminder to show how strong you can be.

27. Woman

Photo credit: arte_e_amor_tattoo

With the rise of power with feminism, it's important to vocalize that you're proud to be who you are a woman.

28. Wanderlust

Photo credit: machofromnyc

Notably known as the strong desire to travel and see the world.

29. Duality

Photo credit: Alexis Ren

There's never one side to any situation, or one part of a person. No matter what, it's crucial to remember duality.

30. Positive

Photo credit: deera

In a world that can test our moods and outlook, always remain positive. Even if it takes a one word tattoo to remind you.

RELATED: 20 People Share How Getting Tattoos Helped Them Survive Depression

31. Amor

Photo credit: carneiroink

The Spanish word for love, but very importantly focused around romantic love, as it's a very special feeling in the Spanish language (and to be frank, should be for every other language).

32. Love

Photo credit: albalunatattoo

If you are someone who loves with every sense of being, and promotes the idea of love, this tattoo is for you.

33. Carpe Diem

Photo credit: Little Tattoos

While we know this is technically two words, we made an exception for this motivating saying. Meaning "seize the day," it's important to wake up each morning with a drive and passion to make it a great day.

34. Mind Over Matter

Photo credit: gitanafineart

When we get in our own heads, and can't take things for face value. The concept of mind over matter plays a significant role in our happiness.

35. Imagine

Photo credit: jasminjanna

When John Lennon spoke of imagination, he spoke of words and wishes for a better day, which created responsibility for one another.

36. Simplicity

Photo credit: tattoosforeverygirl

We don't need much to be happy. We also don't need to leave behind and ugly eco-footprint. This could be a lovely reminder to cut our stuff and create more moments and memories.

37. Here

Photo credit: analauradm

Be in the present, always.

38. Honey

Photo credit: ninka

To some a nickname, and to others the desire for sweetness and love within their lives.

39. Paradox

Photo credit: ninka

Nothing is to be taken for face value, as often things are never what they appear to be — a true paradox.

40. Papillion

Photo credit: maaikes_skinart

Meaning butterfly in French, this word can continue to inspire us to extend our wings and soar.

RELATED: 25 Jaw-Dropping Watercolor Tattoo Ideas You're Gonna Love

41. Wildflower

Photo credit: anna.tattoos

No matter the conditions, nor the care, wildflowers continue to grow and look beautiful while doing so. Given its ideology and metaphor, this would make for a great tattoo.

42. Patience

Photo credit: small.tattoos

Things may never go according to plan, and we may have to wait longer than expected, always remember to have patience and stay calm and flexible.

43. Liberosis

Photo credit: small.tattoos

The word means a longing for liberty.

44. Cheeky

Photo credit: edy_artistpage

Whether it's physically cheeky (located on your bottom) or a pun-on-words cheeky, this is a fun and playful tattoo to put on your body.

45. Trust

Photo credit: tatmania_p

What are relationships without trust? Yet for being so important, it needs to be given seldom and to people who deserve it.

46. Yugen

Photo credit: Inkstinct

Ever have a positive feeling, situation, or even scenery that can't be put into words, like nothing can probably describe how special it is? That's yugen (originating from the Japanese language).

47. Quiet

Photo credit: adrianlamingtatto

To some, we have problems listening. We talk and talk, taking over conversations. By placing a quiet tattoo (preferably somewhere noticeable on our wrist or hands), we can remember to be quiet and hear what others have to say.

48. Loneliness

Photo credit: ycan.cevik

A word often contrived in a negative meaning, instead try looking at something like loneliness as a sense of independence. Yes, we love to be around our friends and loved ones, but at the end of the day, we have to love, be secure, and comfortable with ourselves.

49. Karma

Photo credit: inksoultattoos

A reminder to always do the right thing, because some believe in karma, and what goes around comes around.

50. Cherish

Photo credit: bkutattoos

Cherish each and every passing moment, because nothing in this world is guaranteed. Cherish each loved one, sunset, and new experience.

RELATED: 50 Simple & Elegant Tattoo Ideas For Women

Elizabeth Blasi is a New Yorker. A lifestyle and travel writer, who is often seen with a suitcase in hand jet-setting to her next location. But as a true Digital Nomad, her love of writing and romance novels means her laptop is always beside her.