Home Blog Dragonfly Tattoo: Meanings & Design Ideas

Dragonfly Tattoo: Meanings & Design Ideas


The dragonfly is a popular motif in the art of tattooing. The image of this elegant insect is rich in symbolism and suits women and men alike.

Meanings of Dragonfly Tattoos

These ancient insects have lived on the planet for around 300 million years. They live in two elements – air and water – and seem to have a very contrasting nature. These predators with light transparent wings are nimble and strong, gentle and beautiful.

The meaning of a dragonfly tattoo can refer to the insect’s qualities and its symbolism in different cultures.

Dreams and Desires

These winged predators live near water. In this case, water symbolizes subconsciousness and dragonflies stand for its agents that carry internal desires and dreams.

Harmony, Fragility, Change

In China, dragonflies are associated with the onset of summer, purity, harmony, fragility, and changes.

Conscious Attitude to Life

Dragonflies live a short, but bright and busy life, which is why they are perceived as a symbol of living right here, right now.

Speed and Agility

Native Americans respect the dragonfly as the symbol of speed and agility. These insects are featured on ceramics, rock paintings, and in necklaces.

Endurance and Courage

In Japanese culture, the dragonfly signifies a warrior’s strength and courage. The island of Honshu was called the island of dragonflies. These insects were sacrificed for the sake of victory and were treated as a talisman of good fortune and bravery.


The dragonfly is a symbol of the contact between the physical and spiritual worlds. In this sense, such a tattoo helps to maintain the balance between what’s on the outside and the inside.

Immortality and Revival

This beautiful meaning of a dragonfly tattoo stems from the change of the insect’s life cycles as it comes into the world in one element and dies in another one.

Mystical Strength

In European countries, the dragonfly was related to magic and the otherworld. In the Middle Ages, it was associated with witches and devilry.

Tattooing Techniques and Styles

Dragonfly tattoo sketches come in all shapes and sizes. A black-and-white image in the tribal style looks minimalistic and manly. If you prefer brighter colors and softer lines, go for a watercolor tattoo. Minimalism is a sure option for both women and men. A 3D tattoo will suit those who are not afraid to stand out.

Forearm tattoo women
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Grande Graphic tattoo
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Collarbone tattoo women
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Here are some possible placements:

  • ankle
  • neck
  • wrist
  • area behind the ear
  • forearm
  • chest
  • back
  • shoulder

This motif will look great practically on any body part depending on the size of a sketch.

Dragonfly Tattoos for Women

Women choose dragonfly tattoos with such meanings as fragility and strength, vulnerability and endurance in mind. This contrast reflects a wearer’s character, highlights important traits, and attracts good fortune.

Tattoo #26472
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Leg Watercolor Dragonfly tattoo
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Watercolor Dragonfly tattoo women
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Collarbone Minimalism Dragonfly tattoo
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Women most often opt for an image with gentle and light outlines to emphasize the elegance of the insect. Such a tattoo can be combined with other imagery in a beautiful composition.

In line with a Buddhist tradition, a tattoo of a dragonfly with a lotus symbolizes peace and harmony and a dragonfly with a mandala stands for balance and positive energy.

Dragonfly Tattoos for Men

Men often choose a dragonfly tattoo for its symbolism of speed, swiftness, and vigor. This imagery often adorns bodies of racers or pilots. Many men agree with Japanese interpretations of the dragonfly impersonating a samurai’s courage, endurance, and invincibility.

Shoulder Traditional Dragonfly tattoo
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Arm Sketch style Dragonfly tattoo
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Shoulder 3D Dragonfly tattoo
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