125 Awesome Dragon Tattoos: The Ultimate Guide

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Dragons are the most popular mythological creatures there are. In virtually every culture you will find stories and legends involving these mythical beasts. Even though dragons never really walked the earth, they do bear a striking resemblance to dinosaurs and other large reptiles, which is likely where the tall tales of dragons began. Dragons play an integral role in movies, books, films and folklore, although it’s not quite clear where these stories originated from.

Despite resembling dinosaurs, dragons had features uniquely their own, which varied between cultures. Generally speaking, dragons were said to be large flying serpents that breathed fire and had rough, scaly skin that had the ability to change colors. Depending on the legend, dragons could be known for being protective and friendly or dangerous and threatening. For hundreds of years, we have been reading plot lines about how heroes slayed the menacing dragons to save humankind.

Dragons did not live among people. Most often they were said to live in caves, in the mountains, at the bottom of the sea, somewhere deep in a magical forest and even at the center of the earth. All of these places were scary to the mortal man so it’s no wonder a scary beast must inhabit them and no mere mortal man should dare venture near.

One of these “dragons” appeared from the sea during the time that Christopher Columbus sailed off to the new world. Back in those days, people believed that the earth was flat and that dragons lived at the edges so only the very brave would ever explore into their boundaries. That’s why “Here be dragons” was printed on most of the sea charts and maps during those times!

Dragons first appeared in folklore about 4,000 years ago so they were around way before people started exploring the edges of the earth. Greek mythology has several stories that depict dragons, including the one about Perseus where a queen almost sacrificed her daughter to a dragon to appease him. Dragons were also believed to be the guardians of treasures, portals to magic lands and sometimes of maidens in distress whom they have kidnapped.

Dragons weren’t always depicted as being scary, evil or in need of slaying. Sometimes, they were popular characters in children’s stories, too – like Puff The Magic Dragon. Even today, dragons remain a popular character in video games, role playing games and animated films – like How To Tame Your Dragon.

Dragon Tattoo Meanings

As you are already aware, tattoos mean different things to different people. The same can be said of dragon tattoos. In some cultures, dragons are seen as symbols of strength and power while other cultures view them as things to be feared and annihilated. Some of the more common meanings of dragon tattoos are:

  • Luck
  • Prosperity
  • Strength
  • Power
  • Masculinity
  • Good luck
  • Wealth
  • Earth elements

There are some dragon tattoos that have more elaborate meanings and those tend to be the more popular dragon tattoo designs. Here are some examples of those.

Sleeping Dragon

There is a saying that you should let sleeping dragons lie. This phrase is a warning not to awaken a beast because you will have to deal with its wrath if you do.

Rising Dragon

A dragon rising out of the ruins is a testament to overcoming adversity in life and rising above any obstacles in your way.

Asian Dragon

Dragons are a popular theme in the Asian culture because they have a very prominent place in their history. Asian dragon tattoos are usually associated with wealth and prosperity – nothing, but good omens.

Horned Dragon

A dragon with horns is believed to be the “top dragon” because he is said to be more powerful than all other kinds.

Dragon tattoos are popular with men and are usually considered to be a masculine design. However, women are fans of dragon tattoos as well, although theirs tend to be smaller and more elaborate. Here’s a look at some of the best dragon tattoo designs we have found and brief overview about what each design may mean.

dragon tattoos
This is a bearded dragon with horns, fangs and huge talons. He looks quite intimidating! If you look closely at his back, you will see large scales and possibly spikes sticking up in the center. We definitely hope this guy would be on our side if we ever met him in real life. This dragon tattoo is in its beginning stages of outlining, but it’s going to look AWESOME once its all filled in with color.
This dragon tattoo is kind of creepy, yet kind of cool at the same time. He has horns, a long tongue and crazy eyes that make him look a bit disturbed. We don’t know the meaning behind this one, but it definitely looks to be Asian-inspired.
Even though this tattoo is dark and without much color, it still creates an amazing story. It’s a battle scene between a knight in armor with a sword and a shield bravely slaying a winged dragon. The red on the coat of arms in the shield adds a pop of color for interest. We love how this was created with just simple highlights on a black background. Amazing talent right here!
Here’s a gorgeous Asian-inspired dragon tattoo with lots of color and detail. Every scale on his body was inked singly to create this cool 3-D effect. He has a bearded face, horns and a fire breathing tongue. The colors range from a soft purple at the bottom of the tail to flaming orange horns at the top. This is a super cool design that would look great anywhere on the body.
This is another Asian-inspired tattoo that is a bit different from the others. He seems to be more serpent-like and a ground dweller, compared to the winged ones we usually see. He also has those crazy eyes that make him look a bit creepy and his wild color scheme definitely set him apart from the rest.
This dragon tattoo definitely has a dark-side to it and appears quite evil. He looks like a cross between a demon and a dragon – and he walks on two legs instead of four. The interesting thing is that he is holding a baby dragon in his arms while another one is hanging on to his leg. Another small dragon is seated on top of his head and they all have the same red and black color scheme. A tribute to Satan and The Underworld, perhaps?
We don’t know whether to call this a dragon, a snake or a combination of both. The body of the dragon looks like a scaly snake wrapped around the wearer’s whole arm. As you get to the torso, he takes on more of a dragon appearance, with a chest plate of scales, large talons on his arms and a bearded dragon head with teeth. This is a really cool, really unique dragon tattoo that would definitely draw attention wherever you go.
Usually, a three horned dragon would probably be scary, but this guy doesn’t look harmful at all. He’s a pretty purple color and has large orange winds and a long, scaly tail. The sharp talons on his claws are exposed and ready to attack. His beard and sideburns give him a soft, ancient look, but we think he might be pretty young still!
When you think of dragons from The Underworld, something like this one likely comes to mind. His face is serpent-like, but the fin on his back gives him more of a dinosaur appearance. His slender body and Gothic wings make him look sinister and the barbed tail and long talons add to that sinister effect. We would definitely hate to run into this guy on a dark night!
Here’s another Asian-inspired dragon tattoo that have become so popular. He has a long, scaly serpentine body and walks around on four legs with huge talon. He has a belly plate than runs the length of his body on the underside and a long row of barbs down his back. We can’t tell if the stuff surrounding him is smoke or fire because it isn’t colored in, but whatever it is, it’s coming from his mouth which is full of sharp teeth and long fangs. He’s a scary guy for sure.
So far, the dragon tattoos that we have seen have been on the smaller scale and confined to just a thigh or a forearm. This one, however, is a large, beautiful example of just how amazing dragon tattoos can be when created on a larger canvas. This one covers her entire back and reaches past her waist to her lower hips. He is gorgeously done in amazing details that show off every scale on his body, his claws, teeth and even facial hair. This dragon is another one that walks on four legs and slithers on the ground, opposed to the winged varieties that fly. He has a bit of an Asian look to him and we think he would look stunning completely filled in with lots of color.

Fun Facts About Dragons

  • The word dragon comes from the Latin word ‘draconeum’, which means huge serpent.
  • Most dragons could breathe fire, but there were some very special ones that could breathe ice.
  • Knights from the Middle Ages were sent out to fight and slay dragons as a testament to their bravery.
  • The legend of the dragon likely stemmed from dinosaur fossils that were found by people who imagined what kind of creature they must have come from.
  • Some dragons were said to have horns.
  • There were different sized dragons, some of which were quite small.
This dragon tattoo is unique because of his body shape. Usually when we see winged dragons, they have legs to walk around on, too. When we see dragons with a serpentine body, they usually have legs and no wings. This guy has the serpentine body, wings and no legs – which basically makes him a flying snake dragon! He has a huge mouth with sharp teeth and barbs all across his head. The bony plates on his lower back mean he is ready for battle and we think he might win.
This is another unique dragon tattoo. He kind of looks like a hybrid dragon. His muscular body with long, barbed tail resembles a dinosaur but his head looks more like a snake. He has huge, sharp talons on his claws and is surrounded by yellow and red flames – which he, no doubt, breathed into existence himself. There is also a yin and yang reference in this tattoo, which is the Asian symbol for balance in life.
Despite being a greyscale tattoo without any color in this tattoo, the amazing attention to detail on this design makes it absolutely amazing. Look at how intricately every part of his body was created. Every single scale is visible, the strands of hair in his tail, his sharp, pointed teeth and the glowing eyes all pop out at you when you look at it. The tattoo artist was able to use shading detail to create a smoky effect, as if the dragon is rising out of a plume of smoke. This is an awesome dragon tattoo design that would also look great on the back and would work for a man or a woman.
Here’s a mystical dragon tattoo design and we love the colors in it! It features a winged dragon perched atop of a gorgeous blue rose with pretty greenery and a sparkly, celestial backdrop that creates movement and interest in the design. We think this is more of a feminine dragon tattoo design and that it would look just as good on other parts of the body as well – not just the arm.
At first glance, the dragon isn’t visible in this tattoo. We though it was a floral design. But if you look closely, you will see the dragon’s head in the center of the bicep, beautifully done in red. His red scaly body circles around the arm completely from shoulder to wrist and there are other shapes and designs scattered throughout to create an entire sleeve. This is an amazing piece of ink art for someone who is looking for a cool, intricate design with lots of detail. And a big one, too!
When you look at this dragon tattoo, the first thing that likely comes to mind is that he is ready for battle. The bold blue and orange color scheme really bring his guy to life. His tail is barbed and ready for attacking any opponent that comes his way and his sharp talons are ready to strike. The horns on his head give him a sinister look, as do his yellow serpentine eyes and rows of sharp teeth. He also has large wings that are ready to carry him away from battle, once he has finished off the enemy. This guy is just super cool all the way around!
When a dragon is breathing fire, you know he means business. This guy is definitely not playing around! His green, scaly body looks like a snake, but he has strong legs with claws and barbed wings, too – which means he can attack on multiple levels to defeat any opponent. His teeth are long, strong and sharp as are the barbs on his winding tail. The yellow on his belly plate complement the yellow of the flames, so all parts of the design tie together perfectly. His face looks more like what usually comes to mind when we think of dragons, unlike some of the more serpentine varieties. This would be a cool choice for any dragon fan or someone who just wants a unique and interesting design for their next piece of ink art.
Even though dragons are mystical creatures, we haven’t seen many dragon tattoos that focus on this mystic aspect. This one does, however – and we love it. It features a long-bodied dragon clutching the earth between his talons with his body and tail wrapped around it. Inside the earth, you can see various landscapes of mountains, trees and oceans, along with the sun, moon and clouds. Maybe this guy is protecting the earth. Maybe he has conquered it for himself. Who knows, but we think it’s a really cool design because it is so unique. As nice as it is like this, we know it would be really awesome if filled in with color.

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