250+ Rose Tattoos With Meanings That Put Thorns in Hearts

Last update: October 28, 2022

Regarding tattoos, roses are one of the most popular designs. But why? What is it about these flowers that makes them so appealing to people?

This article will discuss the history and symbolism of rose tattoos, and we will also look at some famous examples of this type of tattoo. So if you're thinking about getting a rose tattoo or want to learn more about them, read on!

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Rose Tattoos and Their History

Since at least the Neolithic period, people all over the world have been practicing tattooing. This is evident from preserved skin of mummies, ancient artwork, and archaeological records. Also, ancient artworks and possible remains of tattoo tools found in archaeological digs suggest that Upper Paleolithic Europeans practiced tattooing.

The earliest proof of tattooing on human skin dates back to the 4th millennium BC. The oldest discovery of a tattooed human body was Ötzi the Iceman, whose tattoos are around 3370-3100 BC.

At least 49 archaeological sites have uncovered tattooed mummies, including locations in Greenland, Alaska, Siberia, Mongolia, western China, Egypt, Sudan, the Philippines, and South America. The most famous mummy is Amunet- a Priestess of Hathor from ancient Egypt who lived between 2134-1991BC. However, there are several other popular examples, such as those found in the Pazyryk culture of Russia and various cultures throughout Pre-Columbian South America.

In ancient cultures, deities and gods/goddesses often gave roses. For example, in Ancient Greece, rose wreaths were worn by Aphrodite, Eros, and Dionysus. The ancient Romans also used a lot of rose ornaments and cosmetics that contained rose oil.

What does a rose tattoo symbolize?

A rose tattoo is a classic symbol of passion and love, adorning the bodies of people from all walks of life for centuries. This iconic flower has been treasured for its beauty and historic significance, representing the highest level of emotionality.

The rose has long been a symbol of lovebeauty, and passion. As such, it became a popular choice for tattooing during the Victorian era in Europe. At this time, tattoos were considered taboo and only worn by sailors and criminals who saw them as symbols of defiance against society.

Today, roses remain a highly sought-after tattoo design. Their symbolic meaning and association with passion, love, and beauty make them a classic choice for those looking to get inked.

Rose Tattoo Symbolism Across Cultures and Countries

Christianity has always had a complex relationship with the rose. For some, it is associated with the Virgin Mary and acts as a reminder of her sacrifice. For others, it represents the bloodshed of Jesus Christ and his ultimate sacrifice.

Greek mythology depicts the rose as being linked to Venus and Aphrodite, both goddesses of love. It is said that the goddess of love once found a rose growing in a pool of blood.

Ancient Egyptians honored the god Isis with roses, as she was considered their protector.

The significance of a rose tattoo varies depending on the culture. For example, in some cultures, it might be seen as positive, while in others, it could be interpreted negatively.

Here are some examples:

  • In Japanese culture, the rose is linked to both love and death. It is often used in funeral rituals and symbolizes a peaceful passing into the afterlife.
  • In Chinese culture, the rose is often associated with romance and love. For example, pink roses are commonly used to symbolize appreciation for someone's beauty and elegance. Other popular colors like red can represent passion and desire.
  • In Central America, rose tattoos often symbolize affiliation with a specific gang or cartel. Roses also symbolize assault, enemies, death, and the mafia. So if you walk around with a rose tattoo in Central America, people will give you some strange looks.
  • A rose tattoo in Russia often symbolizes a criminal affiliation with the mafia. However, it can also represent deeper concepts like the fleeting nature of youth or loss of innocence.
  • In Ireland, the black rose has been a patriotic symbol for centuries, with its roots in a famous political song called Róisín Dubh. Even today, the black rose is still a symbol of Irish pride.

Overall, there are many meanings associated with rose tattoos depending on where you live and your culture. Whether you see it as a symbol of love, death, or passion, there is no denying that the rose remains one of the most popular tattoo designs in history.

Different Rose Color Tattoos and their meanings 

Roses are often seen as symbols of love, beauty, and passion. However, depending on the size and color of the tattoo, the meaning can change.

Red rose tattoo: Red roses have long been seen as a symbol of deep, unquenchable love and passion. They are often seen as the most traditional, universal symbol of love. Regarding tattoo designs, two red roses can symbolize unity and love between two people, as well as the beauty of unity, togetherness, and passion. In this way, they make an excellent design for couples' tattoos!

Red roses tattoo

Black rose tattoo: In contrast to red roses, black roses are often associated with death and loss. They can also be interpreted as a symbol of rebellion against traditional norms or the loss of innocence. Black rose tattoos are popular among those who wish to embrace their dark side or pay homage to loved ones who have passed away.

Black rose tattoo

Pink rose tattoo: On the other hand, pink roses are often seen as a symbol of youth, beauty, and innocence. They are also commonly used in wedding ceremonies to represent love and purity. As such, pink rose tattoos make for great designs for women who want to celebrate their femininity or showcase their eternal youthfulness!

Pink rose tattoo

Blue rose tattoo: represents mystery and the unknown. They are often associated with creativity, beauty, and uniqueness. If you want to embrace your artistic side or capture a sense of wonder in your tattoo design, then a blue rose might be a perfect choice!

Blue rose tattoo

White rose tattoo: Finally, white roses often represent peace, calm, and tranquility. They symbolize humility, as white roses are typically considered the purest of all flower colors. White rose tattoos are popular among those who wish to promote peace, serenity, or healing in their lives. Additionally, some people may use this tattoo design as a memorial for loved ones who have passed away.

White rose tattoo

Most popular rose tattoo designs and their meanings.

There are many different types of rose tattoo designs, each with unique meanings and symbolism. Some of the most popular include:

Rose with thorns tattoo meaning: This design is often seen as a symbol of love that has been tested or tempered by struggle or hardship. It can also be interpreted as a representation of resilience and strength.

Rose with thorns tattoo

Rose with banner tattoo meaning: This design is often seen as a representation of pride and honor in one's ancestry, family, or heritage. It can also be interpreted as a symbol of remembrance for loved ones who have passed away.

Rose with banner tattoo

Three rose tattoo meaning: This design is often seen as a symbol of the Holy Trinity and divine love. It can also be interpreted as a representation of life, death, and rebirth or past, present, and future.

Three rose tattoo meaning

Celtic rose tattoo meaning: This design is often seen as a symbol of strength in both mind and spirit. It can also be interpreted as a representation of rebirth or cycles of nature.

Celtic rose tattoo meaning

Rose and clock tattoos meaning: This design is often seen as a symbol of life's journey. It can also be interpreted as a representation of transience and impermanence, or cycles of birth, death, and rebirth.

Rose and clock tattoo

Snake and rose tattoos meaning: This design is often seen as a representation of rebirth and transformation. It can also be interpreted as a symbol of the union between good and evil, or light and darkness.

Snake and rose tattoos meaning

Compass rose tattoo meaning: This design is often seen as a symbol of guidance and direction in life. It can also be interpreted as a representation of the power to choose one's own path or the journey toward self-discovery and enlightenment.

Compass rose tattoo

Rose neck tattoos meaning: This design is often seen as a secret, discreet way to display one's love for another. It can also be interpreted as a symbol of devotion and loyalty or a declaration of undying love and affection.

Rose neck tattoos

So whether you want to celebrate your eternal youthfulness, embrace your dark side, or pay homage to loved ones who have passed away, there is sure to be a rose tattoo design that speaks to your unique personality and personal style!

What does the number of roses symbolize?

A single rose gifted to your significant other often symbolizes love at first sight.

Two roses together symbolize unity, while three roses represent love and harmony.

Three Roses – 'I love you. 

Five Roses are a great way to signify your love for someone special. Five roses is an ideal option if you want to show a partner or friend how much you care for them.

Six Roses - I wanna be yours

Seven Roses - I'm fascinated with you

Eight Roses - Grateful for your caring and support

Nine Roses - An eternal love, together as long as we live

Ten Roses - You are perfect

Celebrities With Rose Tattoos

Lady Gaga's Rose Tattoo on the Back

Lady Gaga rose tattoo

Demi Lovato's Rose Tattoo on the Finger

Demi Lovatos Rose Tattoo on the Finger

Dua Lipa's Rose Tattoo on the Arm

Dua Lipas Rose Tattoo on the Arm

Lily Collins's Rose Tattoo on the Foot

Lily Collinss Rose Tattoo on the Foot

The Rose Meaning in the Tarot cards

The rose is often associated with love and emotion in the Tarot cards. It can also symbolize balance, purity, and healing. In general, roses are symbols of transformation and rebirth - a potent reminder that life will continue to change and evolve over time.

The roses on four tarot cards are The Fool, the Magician, the Strength card, and the Death card. On the Fool, the white rose symbolizes purity and is a reminder to cleanse the mind. On the Magician card, it signifies unfolding wisdom. On the Strength card, the rose represents balance and growth; on the Death card, it symbolizes transformation. Thus, the rose meaning in tarot cards can be interpreted as a symbol of growth, wisdom, and change.

Whether you are seeking guidance or going through a major life transition, the rose design is the perfect choice to reflect your journey. So if you are looking for a tattoo that will capture who you are at this moment in time and what you hope to become, consider getting a rose tattoo today!

People Also Ask:


What does a red rose with thorns mean?

The symbolism of roses goes back to ancient Greece. For example, the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, is said to be why roses have thorns. According to legend, each thorn on a red rose represents a lover she lost who died because they were mortal and she was not.

What does a rose tattoo mean to a guy?

Aside from their beauty, roses also hold significance for men. The flower represents love and passion but is thought to bring balance and emotion into one's life. This meaning rings true because the rose is lovely, yet its thorns can inflict pain.

What does a rose tattoo mean to a woman?

A classic red rose tattoo symbolizes love and passion, while a pink rose denotes gracefulness, gratefulness, and fondness. Whereas, historically purple roses have been used to signify enchantment and royalty.

What does a black rose tattoo mean for a girl?

Many interpretations of black rose tattoos are primarily seen as a way to grieve and memorialize loved ones who have passed away. The design style is usually loss-related, such as the death of a family member or close friend. The tattoo could also reference the passing of an important figure in history.


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250+ Rose Tattoo Ideas For Your Inspiration