Latin Word Tattoos: 69 Meaningful Words, Phrases, & Proverbs

Looking for a tattoo with meaning? Latin words, phrases, and proverbs look great in ink, and they're an excellent way to share a personal motto.

Updated March 21, 2024
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If I was ever to get a Latin word tattoo, I suspect it would be in vino veritas (in wine, there is truth), if nothing more than to serve as a warning to the me who gets tipsy after a sip of wine. Much like in vino veritas, Latin phrases pop up in our daily lives (check out your change if you don't believe me) even though the language has been extinct for a long time, so a Latin tattoo is a great way of adding a nice sentiment to your body art. Not sure what to get? We've got your back with lots of meaningful phrases for tattoos in Latin.

Latin Words, Phrases, and Proverbs for Tattoos

Not so big on tattooing e pluribus unum (out of many, one) or in vino veritas on your body? Something else will probably be more meaningful to you. No matter what the sentiment, there are plenty of Latin words, phrases, and proverbs that are perfect for tattoos that express exactly what you want. And if none of these work for you, you can turn any saying or motto into Latin with a simple translator.

Latin Proverbs for Tattoos

Nosce te ipsum tattoo

Proverbs are a great way to say something meaningful in just a few words. These Latin proverbs could make great tattoos.

  • Alls grave nil - Nothing is heavy to those with wings
  • Non ducor duco - I am not led; I lead
  • Nosce te ipsum - Know thyself
  • Temet nosce - Know thyself
  • Audaces fortuna juvat - Fortune favors the bold
  • Luceat lux vestra - Let your light shine
  • Carpe diem - Seize the day
  • Carpe noctem - Seize the night
  • Quod me nutrit, me destruit - What nourishes me also destroys me
  • Cogito ergo sum - I think therefore I am
  • Sapientia potentia est - Wisdom is power
  • Tempus neminem manet - Time waits for no one
  • Calamus gladio fortior - The pen is mightier than the sword
  • Vincit qui se vincit - He conquers who conquers himself
  • Dum vita est, spes est - While there is life, there is hope
  • Non loqui sed facere - No talk, but action
  • Quod me non necat me certe confirmat - That which does not kill me makes me stronger
  • Per aspera ad astra - To the stars through hardships
  • Fluctuat nec mergitur - She is tossed by the waves but does not sink
  • Igne natura renovatur integra - Through fire, nature can be restored
  • Tendit in ardua virtus - Virtue strives for what is difficult

Latin Phrases for Tattoos

 Latin prayer tattoo - in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti

Sometimes a short phrase is all you need to share exactly what's on your mind.

  • Deus ex machina - God from the machine
  • Amor vincit omnia - Love conquers all
  • Ad vitam aeternam - To eternal life
  • Veni, vidi, vici - I came, I saw, I conquered
  • Veritas lux mea - Truth is my light
  • Dum spiro, spero - While I breathe, I hope
  • Vive ut bivas - Live that you may live
  • Familia supra omnia - Family over everything
  • Acta non verba - Deeds, not words
  • Alis valat propiis - She flies by her own wings
  • Ad astra - To the stars
  • Fons vitae caritas - Love is the fountain of life
  • Vacate et scire - Be still and know
  • Amare et honorare - Love & honor
  • Amare et amari - Love & be loved
  • Amor numquam moritur - True love never dies
  • Sed ego laboro supersunt - I struggle, but I'll survive
  • Cras es noster - Tomorrow, be ours
  • Pro bono - For the good
  • Ad victoriam - To victory
  • Neutiquam error - I am not lost
  • Incepto ne desistam - May I not shrink from my purpose
  • Momento vivere - Remember to live
  • Vox nihili - The voice of nothing
  • Nil desperandum - Never despair
  • Audere est faucere - To dare is to do
  • Semper ad meliora - Always toward better things
  • Tempis fugit - Time is fleeting
  • Fortiter et fideliter - Bravely and faithfully
  • Pax vobiscum - Peace be with you
  • In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti - In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit
  • Memento mori - Remember that you have to die
  • Errare humanum est - To err is human
  • Palma non sine pulvere - Dare to try
  • Audeo somniare - Dare to dream

Latin Words for Tattoos

And sometimes, a single word says it all.

  • Vita - Life
  • Mors - Death
  • Amare - Love
  • Libertas - Freedom
  • Pax - Peace
  • Misericordia - Compassion
  • Benignitas - Kindness
  • Somnium - Dream
  • Vivere - Live
  • Rideat - Laugh
  • Semper - Always
  • Vis  - Wish
  • Respirare - Breathe 

Styles of Latin Word and Phrase Tattoos

While you'll commonly see Latin phrases in handwritten or calligraphy writing styles, these look great in Old English and block text, too. You can even choose to write the phrase in your own handwriting.  And while most word tattoos are typically in black, don't be afraid to give your tattoo a little color through flourishes or writing the words themselves in colored ink.

Related: Free Zodiac Tattoo Designs

Ideas for Placing Latin Word Tattoos

Tattoo by Manohar Koli by Javagreeen

Depending on the size of the quote, the placement of a Latin word tattoo is open to your own personal preference.

Shorter Phrases

For example, with shorter phrases, ink them on the insides of your wrist or along the bone of your ankle. Smaller phrases also fit snuggly along the shoulder blade and following the line of the collarbone. Stacking the words works great on the calf or bicep.

Longer Latin Tattoos

Longer phrases will require a bit more space. These work better along the top of the shoulders, front of the chest, lower abdomen, down the sides of the arms or legs, along the ribs, and along the lower back. This gives these larger quotes more room for detail and space, making them more readable. 

Quick Tip

Double-check the phrase to make sure it's spelled correctly and means what you think it does before you get it permanently etched on your body.

Inking a Lost Language

If you are thinking of getting a word tattoo but would like to add a little mystery, Latin is the way to go. So whether you want to remind yourself to 'seize the day' or 'time is fleeting', a Latin tattoo is a cool way to add some meaningful ink. 

Latin Word Tattoos: 69 Meaningful Words, Phrases, & Proverbs