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30 Chinese Characters that make great tattoos

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Chinese characters for tattoos

In ancient times, a single Chinese character could usually represent one word. In modern times, however, most words are made up of two or more characters. Nevertheless, some Chinese characters have retained their standalone meaning and can technically still be used without needing to add more characters. The following are 30 individual Chinese characters that make for great tattoos.

(Be aware that it’s generally not advised to use multiple of these characters in succession, as that can alter the meaning or cause the characters to not make sense when read together. If you wish to compile multiple characters together, its best to consult with a native Chinese speaker first.)

1. 家 - jiā

Meaning: Family, Home

2. 爱 - ài

Meaning: Love (platonic or romantic)

3. 美 - měi

Meaning: beauty, beautiful

4. 禅 - chán

Meaning: zen (Originally a concept within Bhuddist practice that emphasizes the use of meditation to awaken oneself to their true nature and attain compassion and insight. It has also been adopted in Western society to mean peace and tranquility.)

5. 和 - hé

Meaning: peace, harmony

6. 野 - yě

Meaning: wild, undomesticated

7. 想 - xiǎng

Meaning: to dream, to think, to desire

8. 勇 - yǒng

Meaning: brave, bravery

9. 力 - lì

Meaning: power, strength

10. 康 - kāng

Meaning: health

11. 笑 - xiào

Meaning: smile, laugh

12. 舞 - wǔ

Meaning: dance

13. 天 - tiān

Meaning: sky, heaven

14. 喜 - xǐ

Meaning: happiness

15. 福 - fú

Meaning: blessing, good fortune

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16. 谦 - qiān

Meaning: modest, humble

17. 奕 - yì

Meaning: full of life/spirit

18. 超 - chāo

Meaning: transcending, super

19. 静 - jìng

Meaning: calm, quiet, tranquil

20. 精 - jīng

Meaning: vitality, energy

21. 华 - huá

Meaning: talent, talented

22. 善 - shàn

Meaning: good, goodness, kind, kindness

23. 贤 - xián

Meaning: virtuous

24. 悟 - wù

Meaning: enlightenment

25. 德 - dé

Meaning: morals, morality

26. 仁 - rén

Meaning: benevolent, benevolence, humane, merciful

27. 智 - zhì

Meaning: wisdom, knowledge

28. 暖 - nuǎn

Meaning: warm, warm-hearted, sweet

29. 朗 - lǎng

Meaning: open-minded, optimistic

30. 佳 - jiā

Meaning: very good, optimal

Interested in getting any of these characters tattooed? Download them for free, or try getting a custom design by a Chinese tattoo designer!


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