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16 Sword Tattoo Designs and their Meanings

16 Sword Tattoo Designs and their Meanings
With rich design concepts, a sword tattoo is one of the oldest and most well-known symbols across the world. This ThoughtfulTattoos post wishes to be a part of that history, and hence, has compiled 16 beautiful design ideas along with their meanings.
Sheetal Mandora
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2018
To get a mind-blowing effect on your tattoo
Use UV tattoo ink to add an extra layer of detail to your sword tattoo so that it can really pop under any type of light.
For an individual with a strong heart and will power, is there any other means to express those emotions than a sword tattoo? Such tattoos exude a 'devil-may-care' or 'never say die' attitude towards life, and holds a significant place in the wearer's heart. Even though some skeptics believe that such a tattoo expresses immaturity or disregard for life, there are, in fact, inspiring meanings behind a sword tattoo.

There are plenty of ways to get a sword tattooed on to yourself; either a detailed design or along with other elements. Whatever you may lean towards, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of designs and concepts to work with. So, search for an experienced and talented tattoo artist and consult with him/her about a unique design. And as for finding inspiration, the following images will take care of that.
Sword Tattoos with Meanings
Even though sword tattoos have been around for ages, we wish to put a modern, jaw-dropping twist to them. With 16  stylish design ideas, these tattoos can perfectly suit for both men and women.
The sword symbolizes solidarity, protection, honor, inner strength, force, justice, courage, leadership, aggression, and chivalry.
Sword Tattoo Designs
Along with the meanings associated with the sword, adding a coiled viper, cobra, or other snakes in the design can also symbolize pride, defense, rebirth, and fertility. If the design has a sword piercing through the snake, then the tattoo can represent an individual's struggle in life, and fighting to overcome it.
Sword Tattoos with Snakes
The popularity of dragons in tattoos is a never-ending furor with a varied range of symbolism such as strength, protection, independence, wisdom, good luck, balance, and fear. However, depending on the dragon you choose to get inked, from Japanese or Chinese cultures, celestial, or spiritual, the meanings will certainly differ.
Sword Tattoos with Dragons
Many people get inked with a memorial tattoo with a sword for a loved one or friend. Such tattoos hold a very personal, yet unique meaning to the wearer, which cannot be described in words.
Sword tattoo with name
Whether the tattoo has a single rose, a bunch of roses climbing up the vines around the sword, delicately framing the sword, or a rose(s) being pierced through with a blade, this design concept is quite popular among men and women. Here, the addition of non-pierced roses can indicate the power of love, a type of yin-yang symbol, peace, beauty, and balance of life. As for a tattoo with pierced roses, it can symbolize the union of opposites or dangerous youth.
Woman with Sword Tattoo with Rose on Calf
A pirate inked with a sword represents free spiritstrong willbraverydeceitdanger, or threat. There are other elements that can be included in the design, such as swallows, roses, pirate ship, treasure chest, etc., to get a more detailed and unique tattoo concept.
As there are multiple elements in the tattoos―sword, shield, warrior, eagle, skull― there can be varied representations. Depending on the elements you choose to include, the meanings and symbolism will differ. For the first design, with the warrior, eagle, sword, and shield, the meaning of the tattoo can be an honorable protector, powerful, and fearless authority. As for the second image, where the designs have shields, swords, and skulls, the tattoo may represent fighting spirit, immense courage, skill at war, and possessing power.
Man with sword warrior shield tattoo on back
Sword Tattoos with shield
An angel warrior can symbolize innocence, hope and faith, guardianship, strength, divinity, fighting spirit, and justice. You can include other elements in this design like flowers, a battle scene, a dragon, or a backdrop of a city.
Sword tattoo with angel warrior on ribs
A geisha tattoo mostly symbolizes beauty, mystery, elegance, desire, sexuality, gracefulness, and femininity. Including a Japanese or samurai sword, known as katana, represents self-discipline, courage, honor, respect, and loyalty.
Sword tattoo with geisha on leg
Before we reveal the symbolism and meaning of a Celtic sword, the representation will be better understood with a reference. In Celtic mythology, the sword has always been associated with the first king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, Nuada Airgetlám. Although the shape of his sword was quite unique but because we are looking at the tattoo as a Celtic symbol, your designs can symbolize immense power, honor, and nobility, and purity at heart.
Woman with celtic sword tattoo on thigh
Both men and women can get a sword tattoo inked on different parts of their bodies―wrist, arm, ribs, shoulder blade, back, thigh, and ankle. As there are a number of forceful meanings associated with it, no wonder more and more are including it with their list of tattoos.
Man with sword tattoo near wrist
Even though the sword has surpassed its heyday, many people still appreciate its visual beauty and charm via tattoos. Select a design that you truly believe in, and make the decision of getting the tattoo inked only after deliberate consideration.
Tribal tattoo with sword
Dragon with sword tattoo