Exploring the Symbolic Meaning of Doves in Tattoos: What Do Doves Symbolize in Tattoos?

Have you ever wondered what the dove tattoo on your friend’s arm could possibly mean? These beautiful birds have been symbolic for centuries and adorn many a tattoo enthusiast’s skin today. The dove tattoo holds a very special meaning for those who choose to ink it on their bodies. From peace to love, freedom to purity, the dove tattoo represents a wide range of qualities and emotions.

One of the most popular meanings of the dove tattoo is peace. The dove is often seen as a symbol of peace, tranquillity, and harmony. This can be traced back to the biblical story of Noah and the flood. As the story goes, Noah used a dove to find land after the floodwaters receded, and the dove returned with an olive branch in its beak, which became a symbol of peace. In the tattoo world, the dove tattoo often represents a desire for peace and an end to conflict in one’s life.

Another common meaning of the dove tattoo is love. Doves are monogamous, and they mate for life, which makes them a popular symbol for couples. The bird can represent the love and commitment shared between partners, making the dove tattoo a popular choice for wedding tattoos. Doves are also associated with the goddess of love and fertility, Aphrodite. In this context, the dove tattoo can represent a desire for love and partnership.

Symbolic meaning of doves in Christianity

Doves are one of the most frequently used symbols in Christian imagery. They have been associated with various ideals such as purity, love, peace, and the Holy Spirit. In the Christian religion, doves symbolize the following:

  • Purity: Doves are commonly associated with the concept of purity. This is mainly because of the color white, which is commonly associated with purity. The dove’s white feathers, therefore, represent purity and innocence.
  • Love: Doves are also associated with love. This can be traced back to the Old Testament. In the Song of Solomon, the dove is referred to as the beloved of the lover. In Christian art, doves are often depicted as bringing a message of love from God to man.
  • Peace: The dove is also a symbol of peace, particularly in Christian art. The dove holding an olive branch in its beak symbolizes peace and reconciliation.

The dove is also associated with the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, doves appear during important moments in the life of Jesus Christ. For example, when Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove. This has led to the dove becoming an important symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christian art and literature.

Doves as a Symbol of Peace in Various Cultures

For centuries, doves have been recognized as a symbol of peace in various cultures around the world. Here is a closer look at how doves represent peace in different regions and traditions.

  • Greek Mythology: In ancient Greece, the goddess Aphrodite was often depicted with doves as a symbol of love and devotion. The Greeks also associated doves with the goddess of peace, Eirene.
  • Chinese Culture: Doves are considered a sign of fidelity and loyalty in Chinese culture. They are also associated with peace, harmony, and long life.
  • Judaism: In the Bible, the dove is a symbol of hope and peace. After the great flood, Noah sent out a dove to find dry land. The dove returned with an olive branch, which became a symbol of peace and a sign that the floodwaters had receded.

In addition to these cultural and religious associations, doves are also used as a symbol of peace in modern political and social movements. The dove with an olive branch has become a common logo for peace organizations and events, representing the hope for a world without war or conflict.

Perhaps because of their gentle nature and soothing coos, doves have come to represent peace and tranquility across a wide range of cultures and contexts.

The Meaning of Dove Tattoos

When it comes to tattoos, doves are a popular choice for those seeking a symbol of peace, love, or spiritual renewal. A dove tattoo can be simple or intricate, depending on the person’s preferences and the meaning they want to convey.

Some possible meanings of a dove tattoo include:

  • Peace and Tranquility: A dove tattoo can symbolize a desire for peace and harmony in one’s life and surroundings.
  • Love and Devotion: Because doves are often associated with Aphrodite, a dove tattoo can represent love, loyalty, and fidelity in a romantic relationship.
  • New Beginnings: In many cultures, doves are associated with renewal and rebirth. A dove tattoo can symbolize the start of a new chapter in one’s life, whether that means a new career, a new relationship, or a fresh start after a challenging period.

Whether as a cultural symbol or a personal statement, the dove is a timeless and powerful symbol of peace and hope.

Dove with Olive BranchPeace, hope, reconciliation
Two DovesLove, partnership, balance
Flying DoveFreedom, liberation, spiritual ascent

With its rich cultural and spiritual history, the dove is a meaningful symbol that can add beauty and significance to any tattoo design.

Doves as a Symbol of Love and Romance in Tattoos

Doves have undoubtedly become an extremely popular tattoo design, especially when it comes to representing love and romance. These birds have been associated with love for centuries and are known as the symbol of love and devotion. Here, we explore why doves are considered as a symbol of love and romance in tattoos.

  • Peace and Harmony – Doves are known for their peaceful nature, and this trait is a significant factor in associating doves with love and harmony. They are two qualities that are essential for a successful relationship. A dove tattoo can be a reminder of this balance, both within ourselves and within our relationships.
  • Spiritual Significance – Doves have often been used as a religious symbol of love and peace, especially in Christianity. It was the symbol of the Holy Spirit descending to Earth, and it represents purity and new beginnings. People associate dove tattoos with these positive spiritual qualities, making them a popular choice for those looking to commemorate a significant relationship.
  • Partner Tattoos – Dove tattoos often come in pairs, where one dove represents the man and the other the woman. The two birds joined together symbolize the love and devotion shared between the couple. It is the perfect way to show your commitment to your loved one, and it makes for a great partner tattoo.

Dove tattoos are not solely used as a symbol of love and romance, but they undoubtedly are a popular choice for couples to express their commitment and devotion. With their spiritual significance and symbolism for peace and harmony, a dove tattoo can be the perfect way to commemorate the most important relationships in our lives.

If you are considering a dove tattoo, it is essential to know the wide range of design options available to you. From realistic, detailed designs to more whimsical, minimalist styles, your tattoo artist can create beautiful artwork to celebrate the love and romance in your life.

Design ElementsMeaning
Olive branchPeace, victory, and new beginnings
HeartLove, devotion, and affection
RosesPassionate love, beauty, and sensuality
Banner or ribbonPersonalization, to include a special message or name

Whether you choose to incorporate these design elements or add your spin on the design, a dove tattoo is a beautiful reminder of love and romance and what it means to you.

The History of Doves in Art and Literature

Doves have been a symbol of peace and love for centuries, and this symbolism has been depicted in various forms of art and literature throughout history. From ancient mythology to religious texts, doves have played a significant role in shaping the cultural and social fabric of human civilization.

  • In ancient Greek mythology, the dove was associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. The dove was said to represent her gentle and nurturing nature, and was often depicted by artists alongside her.
  • In Christianity, the dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and represents purity, innocence, and peace. The dove was first introduced in the story of Noah’s Ark, where it was sent out to find dry land and returned with an olive branch, signifying the end of the flood and the beginning of a new life.
  • In the literary world, doves have appeared in numerous works of fiction and poetry. One of the most well-known is Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, where the dove symbolizes the purity and innocence of the young lovers’ love for each other.

Additionally, doves have been popular subjects in visual arts such as painting and sculpture. The Italian Renaissance period saw a surge in the use of doves as symbols of peace and love in artworks, with prominent artists such as Raphael and Botticelli using them in their paintings.

This widespread use of doves in art and literature has cemented their symbolism as a representation of peace, love, and purity. Today, many people choose to get dove tattoos as a way to honor these values and to pay tribute to their significance in human history.

PeaceThe dove has long been associated with peace, stemming from its use in Christianity and other religions as a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
LoveThe dove is a symbol of love and devotion, often related to its mythology as the bird of Aphrodite in ancient Greek culture.
PurityDoves are known for their pristine white plumage and gentle nature, making them a symbol of purity and innocence.

Doves as a Symbol of Motherhood and Family

Doves have been associated with motherhood and family for centuries. From ancient times, doves have been symbolic of motherhood due to their nurturing and gentle nature. Many cultures around the world have used doves to represent motherly love and care, making them a popular choice for tattoos that honor mothers and families.

  • In Christianity, the dove represents the Holy Spirit, and is commonly used to represent the love and care of the motherly figure of Mary for her son, Jesus.
  • In Greek mythology, the dove is associated with the goddess Aphrodite, who is often depicted as a nurturing and protective mother figure.
  • In China, doves are a symbol of peace and are often associated with the love and care of motherhood.

In addition to their symbolic associations with motherhood, doves are also seen as a symbol of family. The image of a dove carrying an olive branch in its beak is a common representation of peace and unity within a family or community.

When it comes to tattoos, doves can be a powerful symbol of the love and dedication that a mother has for her family. They can represent the nurturing and caring nature of a mother, as well as the unity and peace that comes with a strong family bond.

DovePeace, motherhood, family
Olive BranchUnity, peace, harmony

Overall, doves are a beautiful and meaningful choice for a tattoo that honors the love and devotion of motherhood and family. Whether incorporated as a standalone design or as part of a larger piece, a dove tattoo can serve as a constant reminder of the importance of nurturing and caring for those we love.

Different designs for dove tattoos

In tattoo art, dove designs are popular among those who seek peace, love, and harmony. Dove tattoos come in a variety of designs and styles. Here are some of the most popular dove tattoo designs:

  • Flying doves: Doves in flight symbolize freedom, peace, and hope. Many people choose to have flying doves tattooed on their back or upper arm.
  • Doves with an olive branch: This design comes from the biblical story of Noah’s Ark, where a dove brought an olive branch back to the Ark as a sign that the flood waters were subsiding. This design represents hope and new beginnings.
  • Two doves: Two doves together symbolize love, romance, and partnership. Many couples choose to get matching dove tattoos as a symbol of their commitment to each other.

In addition to these designs, dove tattoos can also include elements such as flowers, hearts, and other symbols that have a special meaning to the wearer. Some people choose to have a dove tattooed alongside the name of a loved one or a meaningful quote.

If you’re considering a dove tattoo, it’s important to choose a design that speaks to you and has a personal significance. A tattoo is a permanent piece of art that you’ll be wearing for the rest of your life, so take the time to find the perfect design and a skilled artist who can bring your vision to life.

Flying dovesFreedom, peace, hope
Doves with an olive branchHope, new beginnings
Two dovesLove, romance, partnership

Whatever design you choose, a dove tattoo is a beautiful and meaningful way to express your innermost thoughts and emotions.

The significance of color in dove tattoos

When it comes to tattoo design, color is an essential factor. It adds depth, meaning, and emotion to the artwork. The same goes for dove tattoos as the choice of color can change its overall message entirely. Every color has a distinct symbolism, and it’s essential to consider this before choosing the perfect one for your dove tattoo.

  • White: The purest and most common color for dove tattoos. It represents peace, purity, and innocence. A white dove tattoo often symbolizes hope, faith, and new beginnings.
  • Black: The color black often symbolizes darkness and evil in tattoos. However, a black dove tattoo can also represent mourning, loss, and a tribute to a loved one who has passed away.
  • Grey: Grey is a neutral and calming color that symbolizes balance and compromise. A grey dove tattoo can represent a peaceful resolution or finding harmony in a conflicting situation.

Aside from these colors, some people choose to incorporate multiple colors into their dove tattoos to create a more vibrant and meaningful piece of art. Some colors can enhance the dove tattoo’s symbolism, while others can conflict with it and change its message altogether.

Remember to choose a color that has significant personal meaning to you and aligns with the message you want your dove tattoo to convey.

Lastly, it’s important to discuss your options with a professional tattoo artist who can guide you through the color selection process.

The Placement of Dove Tattoos and Their Meanings

Dove tattoos are a popular choice among tattoo enthusiasts. These tattoos hold a special significance as they symbolize various meanings. Dove tattoos are versatile, and they can be designed in several ways with different placements on the body. Here are some of the most popular placements and their respective meanings:


  • Wrist – The dove tattoo on the wrist signifies peace and love. It is an ideal placement as it is visible and can be easily hidden if necessary.
  • Behind Ear – The dove tattoo behind the ear symbolizes freedom, and it is perfect for those who value independence.
  • Chest – A dove tattoo on the chest often represents the soul or the heart. It can also signify love, purity, and innocence.


The dove is a common symbol of peace, hope, and love. It is often associated with various religions and cultures, from Christianity to ancient Greek mythology. The dove is also considered as a messenger of God, and it is believed to bring messages of love and peace.

In addition to this, the number eight has a specific significance when it comes to dove tattoos. This number is associated with the concept of renewal and rebirth. The eight is also symbolic of infinity, which makes it the perfect choice for a tattoo that represents endless love.

Symbolism of Number 8

The number 8 has been used in various cultures and religions, and it carries a deep significance that is associated with renewal and rebirth. In Chinese culture, the number 8 is highly regarded as it represents good luck and prosperity. In Christianity, the number 8 is symbolic of rebirth, as Jesus was resurrected on the eighth day.

Symbolism of Number 8Description
InfinityThe number 8 is often associated with the concept of infinity, which makes it ideal for tattoos that represent endless love or friendship.
RegenerationThe number 8 is symbolic of regeneration, which can be an inspiration for those who are going through a difficult phase in their lives.
BalanceThe number 8 represents balance and stability. It can be a great tattoo choice for those who need a constant reminder to live a balanced life.

Overall, dove tattoos have a deep meaning and can be designed in several ways with different placements on the body. Whether you choose a dove tattoo for its symbolism or because of its aesthetic appeal, it is essential to pick a design that resonates with you and holds a significance that is meaningful to you.

Combining dove tattoos with other symbols and imagery

Adding other symbols and imagery to dove tattoos can enhance their meanings by creating a deeper message for the wearer. Combining symbols and imagery can be a creative way to express yourself and your beliefs through tattoo art. Here are some popular combinations:

  • Cross: The dove with a cross is a powerful symbol for Christians, representing the Holy Spirit and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
  • Olive branch: The dove with an olive branch in its beak has been a symbol of peace and hope since ancient times. Together, they represent the desire for peace and the potential for positive change.
  • Heart: The dove with a heart emphasizes the message of love. Whether it symbolizes the love for a partner, a family member, or oneself, there’s no denying that the pairing of the dove and heart is a beautiful tribute to love in its many forms.

When considering what symbols and imagery to combine with your dove tattoo, it is essential to remember the meanings behind them. They should complement or enhance the message you want to convey with your tattoo.

For those who enjoy a more detailed approach, using a combination of dove symbols will make a more complex story. The use of numbers can be incorporated into this goal, with the number 9 acting as an example.

The number 9 has been tied to spiritual and mystical significance throughout history. In addition, it is known to be a symbol of completion and fulfillment. The pairing of doves with the number nine is common among those in search of a message centered around wholeness or something that’s been brought full circle.

Number of DovesMeaning
1 doveRepresents individuality and independence.
2 dovesSymbolize unity, partnership, and balance.
3 dovesRepresent the mind, body, and spirit connection.
4 dovesSymbolize stability, foundation, and structure.
5 dovesRepresent the elements of earth, air, fire, water, and spirit.
6 dovesSymbolize balance, harmony, and peace.
7 dovesRepresent intuition, creativity, and spiritual awakening.
8 dovesSymbolize abundance, power, and success.
9 dovesRepresent fulfillment, completion, and enlightenment.

By combining doves with the number nine, you can create an incredible representation of finality and a positive return to wholeness.

The Cultural Significance of Doves in Different Regions of the World

Doves have been an important symbol in different cultures worldwide for centuries. Here are some of the cultural significances of doves in different parts of the world:

  • Christianity: Doves are one of the most significant symbols in Christianity. In the Bible, a dove was sent by God to Noah to show that the flood was over, and it also represents purity, peace, and the Holy Spirit.
  • Islam: In the Islamic faith, doves symbolize love and devotion, and they are believed to be a sign of divine guidance and protection.
  • Japan: Doves are a symbol of loyalty and fidelity in Japanese culture and are often associated with weddings and anniversaries.

In addition, doves have also been used as a symbol of peace, love, and reconciliation in many countries, including ancient Greece and Rome. They were even used as messengers in war to communicate battle strategies.

But not all cultures view doves positively. In some parts of the world, doves are associated with death and sorrow. For instance, in some parts of Europe, a dove is believed to be a messenger of death, while in some parts of Africa, it is believed that if a dove lands on your roof, it’s a sign that someone in your family will die soon.

The Cultural Symbolism of Doves in Tattoos

Dove tattoos, particularly when paired with other symbols, can have various meanings. Here are some of the most common:

  • Peace: Dove tattoos are often used as a symbol of peace.
  • Love and friendship: Doves are also associated with love and friendship, which makes them a popular choice for tattoos among couples and friends.
  • Hope and new beginnings: Doves are often depicted with an olive branch, which symbolizes peace and hope for a new beginning.
  • Religious beliefs: Dove tattoos are also popular among people of different faiths, particularly Christians, who use them as a symbol of the Holy Spirit or as a representation of their religious beliefs.

The Beauty of Doves: A Look at the Varieties of Dove Species

There are over 300 species of doves worldwide, each with its unique characteristics and beauty. Here are a few examples:

Dove SpeciesLocationPhysical Characteristics
Mourning DoveNorth America, Central America, and the CaribbeanSmall with a long tail, gray-brown in color.
White-Winged DoveSouthwestern United States, Mexico, and Central AmericaLarger than most doves, mostly brown with white patches on their wings.
PigeonFound worldwide, particularly in citiesLarge birds with a characteristic strut, and a variety of colors and patterns depending on the species.

All dove species are known for their gentle nature, beauty, and peacefulness, which is why they have become such a popular choice in art and tattoos.

What do doves symbolize in tattoos?

1. What does a dove symbolize?
Doves are often associated with peace, love, and innocence. They are also known to symbolize religious purity and devotion.

2. What is the meaning of a dove tattoo?
In tattoo culture, a dove tattoo is considered a symbol of hope, faith, and new beginnings. It can also represent the desire for peace and tranquility.

3. Are doves only used in Christian tattoos?
While doves have a strong presence in Christian symbolism, they are not exclusively used in Christian tattoos. Doves can have different meanings and interpretations in various cultures and religions.

4. What is the significance of a dove with an olive branch in a tattoo?
A dove carrying an olive branch is a common symbol of peace and reconciliation. This image can also represent the end of a conflict or a resolution in a personal relationship.

5. Can a dove tattoo have a negative meaning?
In general, doves are associated with positive emotions and meanings. However, the meaning of a tattoo ultimately depends on the intention of the wearer.

6. What is the best placement for a dove tattoo?
The placement of a dove tattoo can vary depending on individual preference. Common locations include the wrist, chest, back, and shoulder.

7. Is a dove tattoo suitable for everyone?
A dove tattoo can be meaningful for anyone regardless of gender, age, or culture. However, it is important to consider personal beliefs and cultural significance before choosing to get a tattoo.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for reading about the symbolism of doves in tattoos. Whether you’re considering getting a dove tattoo or simply wanted to learn more about their meaning, we hope this article has been helpful. Remember, the choice to get a tattoo is a personal decision, and it is important to choose a symbol that holds significant meaning to you. Be sure to visit us again soon for more informative articles.