Astrology lovers will rejoice over these freckle tattoos

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Looking for meaningful tattoo ideas? Scroll through 27 subtle tattoo ideas.
Image: van Nanita / EyeEm/Getty images

Tattoos not only make a style statement — they can also reflect someone’s personality. 

While extroverts may gravitate toward large, colorful tattoos, introverts may find that a small, delicate tattoo can make a quieter statement more reflective of their personality.

If you’re an introvert looking for a gorgeous but simple tattoo, consider some of these ideas for meaningful tattoos.

1. “Timshel”

#mare #tatoo #tupuoi #ele #timshel

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“Timshel” is a famous quote from John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden. The word itself means “thou mayest.” As a subtle tattoo, it is meant to remind people that they always have a choice.

2. Music notes

Small music note tattoos are easy to conceal (especially if placed behind the ear) and are a daily reminder that music is, indeed, life.

3. Arm bands

Some wrap around arm bands for today. Hanks Ashely! #armtattoo #firsttattoo #armband #armbandtattoo #linework #linetattoo #ivylavelle #igers #igdaily #igtattoo #ohio #ohiotattoo #cincinnatitattoo #tattoodaily #tattooartist #tattooist #tattoocollective #picoftheday #bestoftheday

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Arm band tattoos can be either dainty or bold, depending on a personal preference for line thickness, and can be both fashionable and symbolic.

4. Small dots

Poked some lovely wee dots on beautiful @leanneeek 💕 . . . #handtattoo #stickandpoke #dottattoo

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Dot tattoos look like natural beauty marks. They’re meaningful in the sense that the number or pattern of the dots can symbolize different aspects of one’s life, but hardly anyone will really see them. The ellipsis pattern tattoo above could symbolize infinity.

5. Basic wave

Get back to the simpler forms of popular tattoos. The outline of a wave is petite, adorable tattoo and maintains your connection to peaceful water.

6. Alchemy symbols

Alchemy symbol tattoos are especially great for those who feel a connection to the earthly elements. The triangular shapes are each significant, without being overly showy.

7. Egyptian hieroglyphs

Depending on your background, Egyptian hieroglyph tattoos may be personally meaningful. Once used by Ancient Egyptians as their writing system, the symbols can make for small, intricate tattoos.

8. Outline of a country or state

An alternative to tattooing a map of the world on your arm is getting the outline of a country or state that holds particular significance to you. Whether it’s where you studied abroad in college or the state you grew up in, the inked outline tattoo is creative way to commemorate a special place.

9. Roman numerals

Rather than tattooing a loved one’s birthdate, opt for a roman numeral tattoo instead. Roman numerals give tattoos a clean, organized feel, and they can easily be hidden from sight.

10. Rings

Rings (c) @xoxotattoo @vadersdye Hamburg

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From engagement rings to thick jewel replicas, the variations of ring tattoos are almost limitless. 

They can be diminutive or bold, which makes them perfect for a variety of personalities and meanings. The designs above resemble traditional Indian henna designs, which are usually applied to hands and feet and represent good luck and health.

11. Paper plane

Take me away ✈️ #tattoo #paperplanetattoo

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A paper plane tattoo is a minimal ink choice for the avid traveler. It’s creative and also signifies a more youthful, fun-loving personality.

12. Heartbeat

Also known as a pulse, this tattoo signifies life. The heartbeat tattoo manages to make a huge statement in an understated way.

13. Needle and thread

Perfect for fashion lovers and creators, a needle and thread tattoo gets back to the basics with its simple yet elegant design.

14. Constellation

Doctor Who fans and astronomy lovers will find beauty in the design of a small constellation tattoo. With lines, dots, and stars, there are infinite design possibilities to be discovered.

15. Cat silhouette

While portraits of cats make wonderful tattoos, cat silhouettes show a more refined love for felines. Compact and unembellished, these simple cat tattoos are easier to hide.

16. Outline of a camera

Show your love for photography with an unembellished camera tattoo. The simplicity of the design is aesthetically pleasing and artsy.

17. Tiny tree

Whether it be a leafless tree in the winter or a blooming springtime sapling, a tiny tree tattoo shows a passion for nature in a unique way.

18. “C’est la vie”

Translated as “that’s life,” this French quote may mean different things to everyone, and having it as a tattoo can help inspire our most thoughtful moods.

19. Carpe diem

Meaning “seize the day,” this quote, written by author Henry David Thoreau, was made famous by Robin William’s character in Dead Poet’s Society. The original “YOLO,” it sounds fancier and looks great tattooed.

20. Paw print

Show your love for your furry friend by adding a paw print tattoo to your collection. The small design allows it to be placed nearly anywhere, so you might even consider a pair of paws.

21. Basic sun

The sun can represent many different things from happiness to creation, but tattooing a giant fireball on your body may seem too extroverted for your taste. Instead, try a simple sun tattoo design.

22. Snowflakes

#minitattoo #tattooforgirls #snowflaketattoo #blackink #tattoo

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Snowflakes have a subtle beauty in their design that makes them perfect for tattoos. Unique and beautiful, a snowflake tattoo is demure and can have many different and significant meanings.

23. “So it goes”

“So it goes” was penned by Kurt Vonnegut in his novel Slaughterhouse-Five. In his work, it symbolized that life goes on. 

24. Little Prince

This simple tattoo is an ode to The Little Prince, a famed children’s book. The tattoo itself is an optical illusion: Adults often see a hat, while children (and adults with an imagination) see a snake which has eaten an elephant. It’s a clever reminder to not take oneself too seriously, and to keep in touch with one’s child-like creativity.

25. City skyline