Why the Meaning of Teardrop Tattoo is Misunderstood?

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Meaning of Teardrop Tattoo

Various types of people have different and interesting personalities. We like to present their personalities by using their craft and outlook as a medium. Tattoos are an essential part of personality and outlook for some people. People are always curious to explore and find newer designs for tattoos that match their lifestyles. But some tattoo designs are not easy to understand and safe to use for most viewers. This is why today we will answer the “what is the actual meaning of a teardrop tattoo?”. While answering this question, we will learn much more about tattooing and body markings as a byproduct of research on teardrop tattoos. 

Having tiny yet symbolic tattoos is a preference of some specific people with a clear vision and mindset regarding body markings. Most people have a raindrop or teardrop tattoo under the eye paired with other supportive or decorative tattoo designs. This looks more thoughtful to some people as it is more diverse and well-arranged. To put things more simply, whether you want a singular teardrop tattoo or a properly designed tattoo with a teardrop in it, it depends on your choice. Either Way, the teardrop tattoos look amazing if they are artistically done by a professional. 

Why Teardrop Tattoo is Misunderstood

The meaning of a teardrop tattoo is mostly misunderstood because of its dynamic interpretations and complex history. We can see that as we travel across various civilizations and regions teardrop and other face tattoos have opposite meanings. The most popular understanding of this iconic face tattoo is that it is there to represent sorrow, grief over some incident, or repentance for sins. It’s the famous meaning, not the only one, since there are more than four meanings of a teardrop tattoo.

  • Sorrow: to show sadness and pain due to a natural incident or accident
  • Repent: to express a sense of repenting and shame for wrongdoings
  • Affiliation: to represent an affiliation with a group, team, or syndicate
  • Art expression: to purely demonstrate art and expression

Some people connect it with prison mates and other crime associates, as many criminals are seen with this face tattoo. However, this was the stereotype for teardrop gang tattoo that only criminals get these tattoos, but it’s completely false. Many tattoo and other art lovers have completely different explanations for this face tattoo idea. Hence, it would help if you didn’t judge someone with this design without asking them what it means and why they got it tatted.

Upside Down Teardrop Tattoo Meaning

Although teardrop tattoo meaning can be different, an upside-down tattoo mostly has two meanings: life hardships or a prison story. Now, it can be about the prison sentence or difficulties in the life of a legally innocent person. But it’s mainly on these two themes since sorrow or art form teardrop tattoos are not made upside down. While sad or art tear tattoos are colorful or minimal, an upside teardrop is dull and dark. But again, a person could have these deep-meaning tattoos without a negative or dark backstory. So, don’t be quick to judge someone for their face tattoo, and maintain a broad and positive mindset.

Meaning Of Teardrop Tattoo:

Like any other great and well-thought tattoo design, teardrop tattoos have multiple meanings, and there is no singular and precise meaning that truly defines the tattoo. The actual meaning of a teardrop tattoo mainly depends upon the tattoo artist’s creative mindset and the tattooed person’s interpretation. However, experts have been drawing these teardrop tattoos for quite some time. As a result, various artists have proclaimed these tattoos’ unique and interesting meanings. Following are some of the most famous meanings of teardrop tattoo:


Generally, whenever someone sees a teardrop tattoo, they would associate it with negativity and sorrow. But professional tattoo artists and creative designers would tell you that tears are also formed in endurance for hardships. This means it is natural to feel a bit stressed and burned out when you are on a path to achieving something beneficial. We should see that as negative, but we should accept these tears wholeheartedly. Similarly, in tattooing, teardrops are also tattooed on a person who wants to present his ability to endure pain and danger. This quality makes humans experiment, learn and evolve with time to become better humans. 


Similar to endurance, there is another beautiful meaning of the teardrop tattoo. Some people use these tattoos to present patience and courage in their life. A teardrop tattoo symbolizes the capability of the person to stay connected to their cause in the most difficult times with a brave mindset and strategy. This is an interesting and beautiful message; many fighters and professional wrestlers get these tattoos to present their bad and struggling times. Additionally, suppose a person is convicted or affected by an act or station that they do not cause by any direct means. In that case, they use the teardrop tattoo as a sign of their patience and hope for justice after such cruelty and unfairness. 


Now, in detail, let’s discuss other meanings of the infamous teardrop tattoos. The first theological meaning in that regard is being used as an emblem of redemption. Humans are somehow wired to make mistakes and learn great things from them. Sometimes people commit some acts which cause negative effects on others and themselves. Following the community’s laws, law enforcement must punish them for these crimes. In this whole procedure, some people truly learn their lesson and ask for redemption and forgiveness from God and people. Hence, the teardrop tattoo can be presented as a desire for redemption by that specific person. 


The teardrop tattoo’s most understood and simplified meaning is it is used to symbolize grief. Humans have been pretty connected to grief for thousands of years. It is a slow, less impactful, long-lasting, constant emotion that people can’t understand properly. Tattooing sometimes excites some things which are not being said directly. Such is the case with this teardrop tattoo. Seldomly, people use it to show, share and cope with their constant grief and pain. Various factors and reasoning can cause it. But there’s no denying that grief is one of humanity’s most deeply felt emotions, and it’s unhealthy after a certain amount. 

Teardrop Tattoo Design:

We have discussed some famous and commonly used meanings and interpretations of teardrop tattoos. Now, it’s time to discuss the popular designs and styles in which these teardrop tattoos can be created and presented. Of course, finding such high-quality designs and styles is not an easy job for a new tattoo artist or general enthusiast. But life provides a supportive factor to resolve minor problems. Today, we are discussing teardrop tattoos, so let’s take it a step further and see some famous tattoo designs collected with efficiency and plenty of research. 

Following are some of the significant and fanout teardrop tattoo designs:

Single Teardrop:

Creating a single teardrop tattoo is relatively easier than complex styles. This is mostly a medium or small-sized tattoo on a visible part of the face. Most popularly, the single teardrop tattoo is crafted under the right or left eye. 

Multi Teardrop:

Multi teardrop tattoo is created on either eye or the face of a tattooed person. Some people like getting a continuous sequence of teardrop tattoos. On the other hand, various clients demand tattoos to symbolize the spread of pain and grief. 

Black Teardrop:

Unlike the hollow singular teardrop or sketched multi-teardrop design, the black teardrop tattoo is often drawn using ink to fill the selected region. The look is more simplistic yet impactful if it’s tattooed with proper precision and creativity. You can add a smaller sign or symbol within the teardrop and color the rest of the design if you want. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning behind a teardrop tattoo?

A teardrop tattoo is often associated with sadness or loss and can represent grief, mourning, or remembrance. It can also represent a long-term struggle or challenge that one has endured.

Are teardrop tattoos gang related?

Teardrop tattoos are often associated with gang culture. However, they are not exclusively gang-related. They can also represent other meanings, such as sadness, mourning, or remembrance.

What is the significance of a teardrop tattoo?

The teardrop tattoo can be used to represent grief, mourning, or remembrance. It can also symbolize a long-term struggle or challenge one has endured.

Are teardrop tattoos permanent?

Yes, teardrop tattoos are typically permanent and require a professional tattoo artist to create them.

How much does a teardrop tattoo cost?

The cost of a teardrop tattoo will depend on the size and complexity of the design, as well as the artist’s experience and hourly rate. Prices typically range from $50 – $200+.

Are teardrop tattoos painful?

Yes, like most tattoos, teardrop tattoos can be painful, especially in areas with thinner skin. It is best to consult with a professional artist to determine the best Tattoo placement for your design.

How long does a teardrop tattoo take to heal?

The healing process for a teardrop tattoo can vary depending on the design’s size and complexity and the aftercare (Balm, lotion, vitamin e oil, etc) is taken. Keeping the area clean and dry is typically recommended to promote healing, which can take up to 8 weeks.

Can teardrop tattoos be covered up?

Yes, teardrop tattoos can be covered up with other tattoos. It is best to consult with a professional artist to determine the best tattoo design to cover up the existing tattoo.

Colored Teardrop:

If you are more interested in colored and bright tattoos, the colored teardrop tattoo would be great for you. It is mostly considered a feminine tattooing design because of added craftiness and creativity. But professional tattoo artists argue that anyone can get a colorful and stylish teardrop tattoo. You can use blue, red, yellow, green, and even orange to fill the teardrop completely and partially. 


Teardrop tattoos have been famous recently for their depiction on various platforms and among celebrities. However, most people know the actual meaning of teardrop tattoos, so we have collected and presented some of the most famous and interesting meanings. Moreover, the styles and designs mentioned above look amazing with teardrop tattoos. You can choose any color, design, and motivation to get a teardrop tattoo. Visit a professional tattoo artist or a creative expert to guide you furthermore regarding tattooing and teardrop tattoos. Thanks for reading. 

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