Anchor Tattoos: Meanings and Designs

If you’re thinking about getting the first or the next tattoo, but you don’t have any very specific ideas what tattoo design you want to get… Well, focus on meaningful anchor tattoo designs and you can’t go wrong!

Of course, the first thought that comes to mind in this regard is sea and sailors. Anchor tattoo was historically associated with people who served in the navy and often went sailing for years. Sailors inked this symbol of the sea because it was considered a crucial thing which held the ships in the water in their place as well as protected them to be destroyed from the storm or blown away by the wind.

However, today a lot of people who don’t link with the sea choose various anchor designs to get tattooed. Both men and women prefer these wonderful designs because of their symbolic meanings which are probably the reasons of their overwhelming popularity.

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What Does an Anchor Tattoo Mean? 

In the past… 

The anchor is one of the most ancient symbols in the history of tattoos because it has existed since 2500 BC. People considered the anchor as a significant symbol of the Christian faith since very old times. This belief was related to the fact that the anchor’s shape was very similar to the cross. So, the anchor marked a person’s faith and, at the same time, it also constituted Jesus’ connection with the sea.

In ancient Egypt the anchor tattoo presented the connection of feminine and masculine powers and, thus, it was known as a symbol of life.


Nowadays the anchor tattoo has a lot of different meanings based on its historical background. Here are the most popular and common meanings of the anchor tattoo:

  • Hope and steadfastness;
  • Dedication to the greater good;
  • Stability and strength;
  • Protection and security;
  • Survival;
  • Fidelity;
  • Honor;
  • Enlightenment;

The anchor tattoo designs may vary in size, styles, colors and incorporate different elements like flowers (roses, lilies), hearts, clocks, ropes, chains, mermaids and so on. Below you’ll some of the best anchor tattoo ideas for girls and guys. Check out some of the most amazing anchor designs and choose the most suitable for your new tattoo.

Anchor Tattoo for Ladies 

Anchor tattoos have become extremely popular among women, especially recently. Look at the cutest ideas of anchor design that can help you stand out from the crowd.

Watercolor Anchor Tattoo on Shoulder

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So simple and so exciting design for a tattoo! Not very big anchor on the shoulder looks splendid with the bright blurry paint splashes which make this design look more fun and playful. However, this playfulness doesn’t take away any of the meaning. The tiny rope and inscription at the bottom let people understand that you will always remain faithful.

Treble Clef Anchor Design on Wrist


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This mixed tattoo design is a perfect option if you’re a musician or a music fan. If music is the thing you’re most loyal to in our world, a treble clef combined with an anchor is a cool way to express this loyalty. Be sure that the small design tattooed just with black ink on the wrist says about your passion better than any words.

Sensitive Anchor Design with Birds and Feather on Breast

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How do you find this tattoo design? Do you want to get it? I think a subtle tattoo on the breast looks really stunning! A black anchor combined with an infinity symbol, feather and flock of birds is the best way to express your eternal love, freedom and inspiration. Am I right? 

Floral Anchor Tattoo on Foot

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The anchor design with flowers is one of the most popular designs among  girls. You probably think that flowers and anchor are incompatible things and you’re wrong! If you add posh blue flowers to your anchor design, you’ll get a beautiful piece of art that will symbolize honor and love.

3D Anchor Flowers Tattoo on Thigh


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I love this awesome tattoo idea! The whole anchor on the thigh is made out of different flowers (small and big) and green leaves. I think it’s an extremely original and super realistic way of showing your passion for the anchor. A pink rose with a bird in the center of the anchor means purity and secret love.

Anchor Tattoos for Guys 

Men prefer to ink impressive anchor tattoo designs no less than girls. Here are the most appealing anchor tattoo ideas for guys that can amaze and inspire.

Geometric Shapes and Graphical Anchor Tattoo on Biceps

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Rather interesting work! This black and white tattoo design mixes smooth curves of the anchor and precise geometrical shapes, creating a great contrast as well as ambivalence. I think that’s what makes it so unusual and attractive!

Spectacular Anchor Tattoo on Arm

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Just take a glance at this tattoo! It’s perfect for men because it expresses strength and toughness. It’s also unique and looks like a completed picture. An anchor with a massive rope and steering wheel, which is made up of bones just highlights intrepidy!

Lower Leg Anchor Design

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The Wind Rose, map and anchor create a wonderful tattoo design on the lower leg. Such a bold tattoo reflects the devotion to traveling and great passion for adventures. It also presents the strength of character. Nice idea! Why not to try?

3D Black Anchor on Chest

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The anchor tattoo design looks extremely attractive in a black and white style. This one is no exception! An amazing big anchor in a 3D style with the cross and the Wind Rose looks awesome. This design has nothing redundant, but it symbolizes safety, loyalty and hope.

Heart Anchor Design on Neck


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The simplicity of this tattoo makes it so cool and charming. A heart, cross and anchor – three different powerful symbols are bound together by black smooth lines. That’s fantastic!

Have you already chosen a suitable design for your tattoo? Go here to make your right choice.