What's the Deal With Elephant Tattoos?
Elephants never forget, and their old age gifts them with admirable wisdom. Humans can learn so much about life, solitude and love when studying how this ancient mammal carries their weight no matter how heavy, with such remarkable grace and beauty.
A universal symbol of strength, loyalty, divinity and good luck, an elephant makes an unforgettable tattoo design when carefully planned and properly placed on your body's temple.
The Allure of Elephants
Are you considering a small symbolic tattoo perfect for the inner wrist? Or perhaps a large design that will fill an area such as your back or legs with grace? An elephant makes a fine choice for many reasons.
Not only does an elephant represent memory, empathy and compassion, there is a strong connection of the species to Buddhism, as the Buddha selected the rare white elephant for his incarnations. The white elephant symbolizes both wisdom and fertility, making it a beautiful choice for a maternal tattoo. If you are curious and want to try the white tattoo trend, why not opt for a white elephant? Granted white tattoos will fade over time, this may be a wise choice if you don't want visible commitment.
For lovers seeking a couple tattoo design who would rather forgo name or wedding ring designs in fear of bad luck or jinx their union, the stately elephant symbolizes both fidelity and loyalty- two key elements in any successful union.
In addition, elephants have long been representative of the Republican political party. In 1874, cartoonist Thomas Nast sketched the elephant for a cartoon featured in Harper's Weekly alongside the Democratic Donkey. The donkey was clothed as a fearful lion, scaring all other animals, thus their "votes" away.
If you want to honor your views and patriotism with an animal rather than a flag or memorial tattoo, you may opt for the mighty elephant instead.
Behold: All the Tattoo Inspiration Your Need for 2021
Elephant Tattoo Design Ideas
There are many ways to design an elephant for a tattoo. Some are very elaborate and detailed and others are simple, suggesting just the silhouette of the magnificent creature. If you have a playful persona, you may even consider using a finger for the trunk and the side of your hand for the body of your elephant tattoo.
First and foremost, the more detailed your elephant, the larger its size should be. For small are discreet locations, it would be best to opt for just an outlined elephant body. If you want something more elaborate, consider adding henna inspired artwork alongside your elephant for pretty detailing and fancy scrolling.
Another consideration is how many elephants will you wear? Elephants travel holding onto one another's trunks. What a sweet and symbolic way to honor family and loved ones. If you have three children, perhaps you can link them together in a charming family honored tattoo design? An elephant pack tattoo can also symbolize friendship and loyalty.
Placement Concerns and Suggestions
While many people opt for clever placements for an elephant tattoo, always consider the long-term outcome before jumping on a trend.
While elephant hand and finger trunk tattoos are becoming much more popular, they limit employment opportunities considerably, and the finished work has its own set of challenges, including fading and poor healing. Placing an elephant trunk on your fingers may not be the best idea later, and you'll certainly never forget the poor placement choice, so be forewarned.
To prevent hand and finger tattoos from fading prematurely, use only gentle or mild soap when washing your hands.
For the untamed and a little wild, it bears little explanation why an elephant can also make a suitable choice for a penis tattoo. Just give it a thought and the design really does make perfect sense.
For most anyone else, the elephant makes a beautiful statement on the forearm, shoulder blades, on the trunk of your leg, and even the chest. Try to place the design where the trunk will follow the natural curves of your body and you'll have an elephant tattoo design that's harmonic with your own shape; the perfect union between man and beast.
Behold: All the Tattoo Inspiration Your Need for 2021
50 Amazing Elephant Tattoos with Meanings
Elephants are called as the largest land animals on earth. Just like other animals, elephants also have unique traits like beautiful unique structures, creative communications, impressive memories, intelligence, and loyalty which have always fascinated the human race. Because of all these qualities, the elephant tattoos are very common among people. Generally, an elephant tattoo symbolizes good luck, prosperity, and wisdom, but there is an endless list of different types of elephant tattoos, each having their respective meanings and explanations. Here, in this article, you will be going to know the different elephant tattoos along with their meanings. Scroll further to know the details.
1. ‘Tribal (Polynesian) Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: Tribal tattoos (Polynesian) are originated from the Polynesian culture, where Polynesians used the distinctive signs and symbols in the form of tattoos to express their respective personalities. Such tattoos consist of geometric designs, shapes, repetitive patterns of different figures, etc. which represent the rituals, cultures, and beliefs of the wearers. These tattoos are also called as the symbols of social status and family identification. It signifies cultural beliefs, traditions, family values, unity, good times, good luck, nature, and society.
2. ‘Baby Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: Baby Elephant tattoos represent innocence, creativity, optimism, gratitude, curiosity to learn new things, and growth. These tattoos come in different colors and styles depending upon the choice of the wearer. Many people get ‘baby elephant’ tattoos inked on their respective bodies to express love for their children. If this tattoo is accompanied by a balloon then it serves as the symbol of new beginnings and growth.
3. ‘Family of Elephants’ Tattoo
Meaning: These tattoos are mostly worn by the people who are attached to their families and friends. It represents family love, care, attachment, unity, emotions, feelings, bonds, ties, compatibility, children, blessings, etc. Getting a ‘family of elephants’ tattoo is a sweet gesture to express love and feelings for the family and loved ones.
4. ‘Elephant with Crown’ Tattoo
Meaning: Though a lion is considered as the king of the jungle, but an elephant is also not less than a king. Compassion, royalty, honesty, faithful, loyalty, and trustworthiness are some of the characteristics of an elephant. Getting a tattoo of an elephant with a crown often symbolizes such characteristics of the wearer. These tattoos are available in different designs, colors, and patterns to give them a unique royal look.
5. ‘Mandala Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: The word ‘Mandala’ is a Sanskrit word which means circle. A mandala tattoo is in the form of the circle comprising of different geometrical shapes and patterns which denote the whole universe (with its different stars and planets), the connection between soul and body, and the birth cycle. The mandala elephant tattoos have a great significance in Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian culture. It represents spiritual growth, protection, positivity, progress, and rebirth. This sort of art is also used as a symbol of protection from evil forces.
6. ‘Elephant with Trunk Up’ Tattoo
Meaning: An elephant with a trunk up tattoo represents growth, good luck, blessings from the universe, positive vibes, happiness, good health, wealth, success, respect, and prosperity.
7. ‘Elephant Couple’ Tattoo
Meaning: The elephant couple tattoo is a unique way to express love for respective partners. Elephants are considered as the most trustworthy, kind, loyal, truthful, and faithful animals. So, getting an elephant couple tattoo is a unique way to express the happiness to have a partner with such characteristics.
8. ‘Elephant with Butterfly Wings’ Tattoo
Meaning: An elephant tattoo with its ears as butterfly wings denotes new beginnings. These tattoos are very common to express the beginning of good times after a lot of struggles. These tattoos are decorated with floral patterns to give them a distinctive look. Most of the people get such tattoos inked on their backs to get more space for this beautiful art.
9. ‘Past Remembrance Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: Past remembrance elephant tattoo is a unique way to remember the good old times. There is a quote that perfectly suits the theme of this tattoo, which says,
All grown-ups were once children but only few of them remember it.”
10. ‘Half Lion and Half Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: Both lions and elephants are considered as the most dominating animals in the kingdom of the jungle. Both the animals have their unique qualities which makes them different from others. On one side, a lion represents authority, power, aggression, and strength. On the other side, an elephant represents patience, faith, intelligence, trust, loyalty, and royalty. Getting a half lion and half elephant tattoo is a unique way to express ones’ personality of having the traits of both animals.
11. ‘Symbol of Laos Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: The Indian elephant is the national animal of Laos (Land of a Million Elephants). Getting a tattoo of ‘symbol of Laos’ is a unique way to express love for both, the country Loas and the elephant.
12. ‘Lord Ganesha’ Tattoo
Meaning: Lord Ganesha is an elephant-headed Hindu God who is not only worshiped in India but also in different parts of the world. Ganesha is also known as Ganesh, Ganapati, Vinayaka, etc. He is considered as the ‘God of new beginnings.’ Ganesha tattoos are available in various poses, each representing different meanings. Having a tattoo of Ganesha in standing position in which he is standing above a rat denotes ‘Ganesha will remove all the obstacles of your life.’
13. ‘Elephant Hamsa’ Tattoo
Meaning: A hamsa tattoo symbolizes the hand of God that has spiritual powers. It is believed that the Hamsa tattoo brings good fortune to the wearer. Generally, it consists of patterns of flowers, shapes, beads, etc. with an eye (Eye of Horus) in the center. Sometimes instead of the eye, an elephant’s face is inked in the center which denotes good luck, protection from all evil forces, guidance, direction, progress, growth, and wisdom.
14. ‘Geometric Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: In this tattoo, different color themes and geometric shapes are inked to give the shape of an elephant. It’s a form of beautiful art that represents good luck.
15. ‘Elephant with Floral Tiara’ Tattoo
Meaning: The most common meaning of a floral tiara is royalty, growth, powers, authority, and responsibilities. An elephant with a tiara means positive growth, royal family, power, strength, good fortune, and courage.
16. ‘Elephant and Lion with Motivational Quote’ Tattoo
Meaning: This is a unique way to give a different look to your elephant tattoo. It represents the qualities of both an elephant (loyal, faithful, and respect) and a lion (powers, strength, strong, and courage). A motivational quote, “Be brave be strong” acts as a source of motivation during difficult times.
17. ‘Ornate Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: An ornate elephant tattoo is the one in which the elephant is decorated with beautiful patterns, designs, shapes, and symbols to give it a different unique look. These tattoos come in different color themes. It is a symbol of positive energies, excitement, the playful nature of the wearer, spiritual growth, and prosperity.
18. ‘Half Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: An elephant is a universal symbol of loyalty, growth, and good luck. The meaning of a half elephant tattoo is the same as the meaning of a general elephant tattoo. It’s just a unique way to give a different look to your tattoo. There is no specific reason or meaning behind it.
19. ‘Mum and Baby Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: It denotes the lovable bond between the mother and her child. This tattoo is inked as a symbol of love, loyalty, faith, trust, growth, positive aura, and emotions towards the family.
20. ‘Multicolored Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: Multicolored elephant tattoos are the symbol of creativity, growth, passion, joy, and growth. It also denotes the interest of the wearer towards creativity.
21. ‘Elephant holding a bunch of Flowers’ Tattoo
Meaning: An elephant holding a bunch of flowers denotes growth and good times after facing struggles in life. It denotes the divine love for God. This tattoo is a unique way to show love towards spiritual growth.
22. ‘Elephant made of Branches’ Tattoo
Meaning: This is one of the most beautiful elephant tattoos which you can choose. Several branches are formed in the shape of an elephant representing growth and progress.
23. ‘Elephant with a Barn Owl’ Tattoo
Meaning: Barn owl is a symbol of ultimate strength, knowledge, and wisdom, whereas an elephant is a symbol of growth, patience, and loyalty. So, a tattoo of an elephant with a barn owl represents that you will be able to overcome all the obstacles of life with patience and dedication. God will lead you to the correct path, just stay loyal and dedicated to your goals.
24. ‘Lines Pattern Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: An elephant tattoo with patterns of lines and different shapes has no specific meaning behind it. It’s just a unique way of getting an elephant’s tattoo on the body. You can also opt for different color themes to give your tattoos a unique and different look.
25. ‘Elephant reading Books’ Tattoo
Meaning: It denotes the love for acquiring knowledge.
26. ‘Elephant Lover’ Tattoo
Meaning: If you want to express your love towards elephants, getting a tattoo of ‘elephant lover’ is one of the best ways to do. This tattoo denotes the ‘animal lover’ trait of the wearer. It can also be inked to express love towards any other pet or the memories you share with them.
27. ‘Babar The Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: Babar is a fictional young elephant character who wears a green colored suit, who leaves the jungle in the process when his mother was killed by a hunter. After escaping from the jungle, he visits the big city, learns many things, and return to the jungle to bring the benefits of civilization to his fellow elephants. On his return, he is selected as the king of the elephant kingdom. The book was first published in 1931. Later, the shows were also telecasted.
28. ‘Baby Elephant holding a Shamrock Leaf’ Tattoo
Meaning: ‘Baby Elephant with a Shamrock Leaf’ tattoo represents holy spirits, spiritual guidance, and good luck. This tattoo is generally small in size and can be inked on wrist, fingers, behind ears, etc.
29. ‘Realistic Elephant Portrait’ Tattoo
Meaning: The black and gray realistic portrait tattoos are very common. If you want to give your tattoos a realistic dark-colored look, such types of tattoos are best. It denotes spiritual growth.
30. ‘Kewpie Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: Kewpie is the brand name of dolls which were first created by Rose O’Neill, an American cartoonist, as comic strip characters in 1909. A Kewpie elephant is an animal series of Kewpie brand. It’s a form of an elephant with a babyface.
31. ‘Jungle-Theme Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: If you love nature, this type of tattoo is best for you. These types of tattoos are called jungle theme tattoos which depict the true beauty of nature. You can add different colors, trees, animals, rivers, etc. as per your choice to give it a uniquely beautiful look.
32. ‘Elephant with Crescent Moon and Lotus Flower’ Tattoo
Meaning: Lotus flower is considered as a symbol of divine beauty and purity. Crescent moon represents the cycles of birth, psychic abilities, spiritual aspects, and intuition powers. A tattoo of an elephant with lotus and crescent moon denotes spiritual awakening.
33. ‘Simple Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: This type of tattoo is very simple which consists of just the outline work. Generally, an elephant outline tattoo is small in size and is inked on either on the wrists or near ankles. It signifies good luck and new beginnings.
34. ‘Elephant with a Turban’ Tattoo
Meaning: An elephant with a turban and jewelry is often seen in Indian Culture, where any royal religious ceremony is conducted. In Indian culture, an elephant is considered as the divine figure of wisdom and knowledge. It is believed that elephants are symbols of spiritual growth.
35. ‘Old Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: These tattoos are inked to express love, care, affection, and respect, for grandparents or any other old member of the family.
36. ‘The Chained Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: It’s a beautiful art that denotes the realities of the circus. On one side the animals are seen performing the incredible stunts and dance for entertaining the people. But, on the other side, the reality is that the animals are being tortured for such performances. They are being tied up and humiliated. This tattoo gives the message that we should not humiliate and torture innocent animals.
37. ‘Elephant holding a Bicycle’ Tattoo
Meaning: A tattoo of an elephant holding a bicycle with his trunk signifies the good times, good fortune, blessings, spiritual growth, good health, correct decisions, and positivity all around.
38. ‘Elephant with Hearts’ Tattoo
Meaning: Tattoo of an elephant with hearts signifies the positive love relationship of the wearer. Generally, such a tattoo is inked along with the names of the lovers to express the love, affection, care, feelings, emotions, and respect towards the partner.
39. ‘Elephant with Floral Pattern’ Tattoo
Meaning: The floral pattern signifies natural beauty, love, passion, growth, and positivity. An elephant tattoo with a floral pattern denotes spiritual growth, divine love, divine love for nature, love in between the partners, and blessings.
40. ‘Watercolor Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: In a watercolor elephant tattoo, the splashes of different colored inks are applied, each denoting the colors of life. This tattoo has a very positive sign. It denotes that you have lived your life to the fullest which others aspire to achieve.
41. ‘Elephant Memorial’ Tattoo
Meaning: A memorial tattoo is a way to express your feelings for a loved one. It symbolizes peace and good memories.
42. ‘Tiny Mandala Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: A mandala tattoo represents the whole universe. These tattoos are worn by the people not only for fashion but these also act as a protection against evil forces. It denotes positivity, growth, progress, and protection.
43. ‘Heart-Shaped Elephants’ Tattoo
Meaning: It signifies love, passion, sacrifices, feelings, emotions, soul mates, and divine love.
44. ‘Little Dumbo Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: Dumbo is an American fantasy adventure film released in 2019 which involves the story of a family that works at a circus and encounters a baby elephant with extremely large ears who is capable of flying. If you want a cute baby elephant tattoo, this is one of the best options to choose from.
45. ‘Giraffe-Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: This is one of the most common ways to express the bonds. Many people opt for this tattoo to express their feelings, love, emotions, bond, and attachments.
46. ‘Sugar Skull Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: Sugar Skulls are the symbols of ‘Day of the Dead.’ These are the ink in unique designs with beautiful vibrant colors, which are used to honor the dead ones. Sugar skull elephants are also inked in the memory of the loved ones who have passed away.
47. ‘Origami Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: Origami is an art of folding colorful papers into decorative shapes. This form of art is widely used all over the world to develop hands coordination, skills, thinking abilities, and mental concentration. Origami elephant symbolizes strength, powers, good luck, and wisdom.
48. ‘Cosmic Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: A cosmic elephant tattoo signifies endless possibilities, divine powers, and spiritual growth.
49. ‘Salvador Dali Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: ‘The Dali Elephants’ is a painting by Salvador Dali, painted in 1948. Dali elephants are depicted with long legs and are shown carrying a heavyweight on their backs. It is a symbol of strength, powers, wisdom, immortality, and courage.
50. ‘Dream-Catcher Elephant’ Tattoo
Meaning: A dream-catcher is in the form of a circle representing the circle of life. It is often decorated with beads, feathers, and colorful decorative strings, which are used as s protection against evil forces and bad dreams. A tattoo of a dream-catcher elephant symbolizes positive energies, spiritual guidance, protection against evil forces, and angels’ blessings.
Celebrities with Elephant Tattoo
1. Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne got an ‘elephant face’ tattoo on her right forearm which she got inked in July 2016 by Los Angeles based tattoo artist, Dr. Woo.
2. Melanie Martinez
Melanie got the tattoo of ‘Elmer Elephant’, a fictional cartoon character from ‘Elmer Elephant’ which was released in 1936. She got this tattoo inked by the tattoo artist, Shon Lindauer in October 2015.
3. Lucy Hale
Lucy got a tiny elephant tattoo on her right forearm. She got this tattoo inked at the time of her visit to Cambodia in May 2018.
4. Paris Jackson
Paris got this tattoo in the memory of her father ‘Michael Jackson’ who died on June 25, 2009. The design of this tattoo is from the cover of Michael Jackson’s album ‘Dangerous’ which was released in 1991. Along with the tattoo of eyes of Michael Jackson, an outline of beautiful animals is inked including an elephant. She got this tattoo inked in May 2016 by the tattoo artist, Justin Lewis. After uploading the picture of this tattoo on her twitter account, she tweeted,
Never forget your roots. Always be proud of where you came from.”
5. Jackie Cruz
Jackie got a tiny elephant tattoo on her left forearm.
6. Ashley Greene
Ashley Greene got this beautiful elephant tattoo with an ‘Om’ symbol on it on her right wrist. She got this tattoo inked by the tattoo artist, Dr. Woo in July 2013.
7. Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes got a tiny elephant tattoo on the middle finger of his left hand.
8. Eleanor Calder
Eleanor Calder got an elephant tattoo near her right wrist.
9. Renee Phoenix
Renee Phoenix got a colorful elephant tattoo on her left hand.
10. Brandy Norwood
Brandy Norwood has got Hindu God ‘Lord Ganesha’ tattoo on her left arm. She got this tattoo inked in 2010 by the tattoo artist, Peter Koskela.
11. Jessica Plummer
In an interview, Jessica expressed her love for animals and said that elephants are one of her favorite animals. Not only this, after getting this tattoo, she tweeted,
I wanted a tattoo to represent Neon Jungle and also family, #ohana AND THEY LOVE PEANUTS!”
She got this tattoo inked in November 2013.
12. Tay Jardine
Tay Jardine got ‘Mandala Elephant’ tattoo on her left arm.
13. Molly Brazy
Molly got an ‘Ornamental Elephant’ tattoo inked just below her chest.
14. Scout Taylor
Scout Taylor got ‘Elephant Footprint’ tattoo on her left leg.
15. Samantha Maria
She got a large elephant tattoo on her right arm.
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99 Powerful Elephant Tattoo Designs
Animal tattoos have always been popular to get for both males and females. One of the biggest and strongest animals is the elephant. Elephants can weigh up to 8 tonnes and are generally considered the most dominant animal. Yet at the same time elephants remain the be very graceful and even tempered. They are not aggressive unless provoked. They are also incredibly loyal when it comes to family and are considered very sacred amongst many cultures.
So why is everyone rushing off to get elephant tattoos? Well they are also beautiful looking creatures. Their calfs are incredibly cute and the adults are grand and powerful with strikingly unique features that really make us curious about these seemingly ancient beasts. We have compiled 30 of our favorite powerful elephant tattoo designs for you to look at.
In many cultures it is considered good luck when the elephant has its trunk facing upwards like the above photo. Elephants are also particularly popular tattoos for people of hindu or buddhist beliefs as the elephant holds strong significance in their religions.
There isn’t a much cuter animal than that of a baby elephant when it has not quite formed its tusks yet. Here is a great example of how a normally huge and powerful looking creature can look tiny and cute when drawn right.
Elephants are also incredibly intelligent creatures and whilst it is frowned upon these days, they use to be the main attraction at the circus, often performing incredible stunts such as standing on their hind legs like you can see in the tattoo design above.
Elephants are also common place in children’s stories and cartoons making us really fond of the creatures from a young age. Often people will get nostalgic cartoon characters tattooed to remind them of their youth.
A popular tattoo nowadays is the finger tattoo. What was once considered a ‘faux pas’ as you would unlikely not get a job with a finger tattoo, is now common place amongst both young males and females a like. I guess you could say its a shot at the rules and conforming to old fashioned standards. Either way this is a great elephant design on the finger which you could easily hide with a ring if need be.
Getting tattoos in matching spots is very popular amongst friends, they don’t necessarily need to be the same design but if you get them in the same spot it will become more symbolic and each time you look at the tattoo it can remind you of each other.
This abstract elephant tattoo is actually a design by infamous surrealist painter Salvador Dali who most notably did the painting with the melted clocks. His designs are very popular amongst tattoo fans because of their unique and surreal look (not to mention that not many can afford one of his actual paintings any more).
Another example of an abstract style elephant tattoo, this time made up entirely of brush strokes. The other thing that is interesting about this design is that they have chosen what is probably considered the least interesting side of the elephant (the behind) and used that as the basis for their design, yet for some reason it just really works well.
This is more a hindu style elephant design. Traditionally elephants were painted for ceremonial purposes often with very intricate designs such as the design above.
Getting a tattoo behind the ear is particularly common place amongst females these days and was some what popularized by singer Rihanna who has tattoos in the same spot. It is also a favored choice for a lot of females because they can easily hide it behind their long hair.
This design reminds us of the popular children’s story and cartoon Dumbo which was about an elephant. Cartoon elephants can look very cute as tattoo designs and are quite popular with females.
Elephants are considered very loyal creatures, particularly because the male will stay chaste for 2 years whilst the female partner is pregnant which is unusual in the animal world. They are very loyal to their young calfs as well and will generally stick together as you can see in the above design.
This is another great example of the elephant with its trunk up to represent good luck. The elephant also looks very happy in this design and we love the use of a lot of geometric patterns and shapes to make up the elephant.
You may not see it at first glance but this incredible back tattoo design is actually made up of two elephants facing outwards that are joined together with an amazing floral style pattern. This is one of the most beautiful and unique tattoos that we have seen.
Here you can see the homage to elephants working in old circus shows with these interesting elephant knee tattoo designs. One with a female on the right kneed and one with a male on the left knee. Definitely not the kind of tattoo to get if you fall over and scrape your knees a lot, but none the less an incredible design!
Simple yet poignant little elephant design above someones ankle. We particularly love the blue flower on the ear.
It doesn’t get much more epic than this back piece of a life like elephant. It looks like a shot straight out of a David Attenborough documentary on elephants in Africa. We love the line work that makes the elephant look old, weathered and of course very noble.
If you’re a lover of both butterflies and elephants than why not merge the two together and create an incredibly unique and pretty tattoo like the design above? This design is also a great example of how you do not necessarily need color to create a realistic looking elephant design since they grey in color anyway.
It’s not often that you will see people use orange colored ink for anything other than flame tattoos but here you can see how well it works on the elephant design mixed with the green. The daisy flower coming out of the elephants trunk really tops this design off nicely.
To some people they will decide to get an old and weathered looking elephant tattooed on them because it will remind them of someone old in their lives that may have passed away recently and want to remember them with a wise old animal.
Another great example of a full back piece of a grand looking elephant. The shading and black line work on this one really make it pop out. No doubt this one would have taken several sessions and cost a bit to get but the result is well worth it!
If you’re wanting to get an elephant tattoo on your shoulder but think that it might not work with the curved shape of your shoulder here is a great example of how you can incorporate something like a wreath to work to the shape of your shoulder better.
An adult elephant leading its young. There isn’t much more of a prettier scene than this and it can also be a great tattoo to get if you have recently had a child yourself.
Clever and incredibly funny this is the kind of tattoo that is a great ice breaker when meeting people, we love how they have made their finger the trunk for the elephant.
A family of three elephants. This might be symbolic of having 3 family members, also note that the trunks are facing up at the end for good luck. Of course if you have another family member you can always add to this kind of design later on!
The wrist is one of the most popular spots for tattoos these days and here is a great yet simple design of an elephant. When working with a smaller space such as your wrist – generally simpler works best!
A family of five beautiful elephants lining the bottom of someones foot. Simple outlines of elephants like this work really well here and whats interesting about this design in particular is that it’s in reverse order from normal. Usually the adult and biggest elephant would be leading the herd of elephants but in this case it’s the smallest one, very clever.
The elephant is a very versatile tattoo design. Because it has such a unique and recognisable shape you can get it colored in completely like the above design and still recognise it easily as an elephant.
A great design incorporating flowers and the elephant on the side of someones ribs. In particular we really like how they have managed to merge the two designs in to one tattoo and that the elephants ear kind of becomes the flower, very cool indeed!
We love this modern and abstract design. We’re not sure exactly what it means, but that can often be one of the cool things about tattoo designs is that they’re symbolic to the owner of them and to everyone else they are an interesting talking point.
Another great hindu style decorated elephant tattoo, this time on someones thigh – which is a very popular spot to get tattooed because of the large canvas area and easy ability to cover it up as needed.
Another example of how versatile the elephant is as a design. You can get it side on walking and it looks great and you can also get it inked on straight on with just its face, trunk and ears and it still looks like a great design. We particularly like the vector style of this one where the tattoo remains bold and will not fade like some smaller more intricate designs.
This is one of our favorite and most beautiful elephant tattoo designs we have seen. As you can see it’s very unique and is made up entirely of flowers. What makes it even cooler is the color choice. We love the teal and love how the elephants trunk works its way up the body and the overall shape of the elephant works with the persons curves.
So there you have it, 99 of our favorite elephant tattoo designs, all unique and beautiful in their own way. If you’re thinking of getting an elephant tattoo but not sure what kind of style or design you’re after hopefully this has given you some inspiration!
21 Elephant Tattoos With Symbolic Meanings
One reason the elephant tattoo connects with so many people is because of the diverse meanings associated with the largest animal on the planet.
Not only can this 8 ton animal be one of the strongest, it has loving family qualities that endear it to many.
Respected in many parts of the world like Africa and Asia, the elephant tattoo has a very distinct meaning to different people across the globe.
This tattoo is considered more than just in under your skin, it represents a connection with nature, a maternal bond with Mother Earth that signifies a huge list of different meanings, just like indian tattoos.
The Powerful Elephant Tattoo
The elephant is huge in size and enormous in strength, but peel away that outer layer and you find a gentle creature that is extremely quiet unless they become provoked.
That symbolic trait connects with those who prefer peace to force, and the tattoo will signify that regardless the size, the force within can not be overcome.
Females especially connect with the elephant tattoo because it can represent that bond a mother has with child, the protector of the herd, willing to risk her life to protect the ones she loves, also similar to paw print tattoos.
This strong bond and connection is one of the powerful symbolic representations the elephant tattoo portrays.
Elephants shown holding the tails of other elephants expresses both a tight family bond and a show of force or invincibility.
Connection With Wisdom and Good Luck
The Hindu religion regard the elephant as a symbolic representation of communication, wisdom, good luck, and success.
This religion has close ties with the power of the elephant being able to move large obstacles that stand in the way of the pure heart.
The upturned elephant trunk in the tattoo is said to bring good luck, wisdom, and discernment.
The artist has the ability to utilize your connection with the elephant into the size, location, and coloring of the design.
The larger the tattoo, the larger the obstacles that can be overcome and the bigger the force coming at you if you ever decided to harm those closest to the herd.
Choosing Your Symbolic Representation
The elephant stands for so much in different religions that it is not difficult to connect your own unique personality to the traits of the might elephant.
Considered a sign of fertility for some, the elephant tattoo can represent devotion, consideration, patience, and chastity to others.
In Tibet and India, the elephant has long been considered a leading player in creation. The drawing of elephants holding large objects in their trucks symbolize keeping balance and the world in its place.
A great maternal elephant tattoo utilizes the color white throughout to symbolize fertility and wisdom.
Others have turned to the elephant tattoo to represent nobility, happiness, determination, compassion, and invincibility.
Be sure when choosing your elephant tattoo that you carefully consider which trait you best connect with so the artist can express it clearly in the design.
The silhouette of an elephant can have the same lasting impression as a detailed design if the meaning is easily conveyed.
Elephant Tattoo Gallery
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Elephant tattoos have strong meanings because the elephant is an incredible animal.
Traversing rough terrain in search of food and water, elephants persevere through challenges.
Elephant tattoo designs can go two ways– an African elephant, which usually is larger with bigger ears, or an Asian elephant.
No matter which design you choose for your elephant tattoo, it symbolizes strength, wisdom, and power.
Elephant Trunk Up Tattoo Meaning
Elephant tattoos with their trunk up come from ancient Chinese beliefs representing good luck.
In fact, elephants tend to represent highly good luck in general in Chinese culture so they are an excellent choice if you want to turn your life around (if you believe that’s the cure).
Biologically, when an elephant has its trunk up it means that it could be rearing up to charge you.
Therefore, an elephant trunk-up tattoo could also mean that you are a fierce individual who is rugged in all the right ways.
Elephant Trunk Down Tattoo Meaning
On the other hand, when the elephant in a tattoo has its trunk down in Chinese culture this represents fertility.
It is also believed that when the trunk is down it is storing energy and strength to face an upcoming obstacle.
An elephant tattoo with its trunk down means you have immense power locked up inside of you that you can release whenever you need it most.
Elephant and Moon Tattoo Meaning
The design of the elephant and moon tattoo could be that the elephant is sitting inside of a crescent moon, or the elephant is carrying the moon with its trunk, just to name a few tattoo designs.
The moon as a tattoo can mean many things, including the passage of time, growth, and creativity.
When the elephant is combined with a moon tattoo, it means that this tattoo implies that you have great intelligence and gain more knowledge as you grow and as time passes.
Hamsa Elephant Tattoo Meaning
The Hamsa symbol has been claimed by multiple religions and cultures throughout time.
This tattoo design usually places the elephant inside of the Hamsa tattoo symbol, combining the two in an interesting composition.
The Hamsa’s meaning brings out the elephant’s confidence and bravery as whoever wears the tattoo faces challenges.
Most notably the Hamsa tattoo represents protection, therefore, the elephant inside the Hamsa is the symbol of an elephant that can battle as well as heal.
Hamsa with an elephant tattoo offers a safe guide through life, proving that with bravery you can overcome obstacles.
Elephant Family Tattoo Meaning
This kind of elephant tattoo is serene and loving– it is all about family.
The elephants in a row show how a mother leads children through their lives by protecting them and giving them strength.
The mother elephant also teaches the younger ones who, again, following in her footsteps.
This is a great tattoo for a proud mother who wants to express her sentiment for family life, or for a child of a mother who always leads them in the right direction.
Elephant Mom and Baby Tattoo Meaning
Much like the elephant family tattoo, this design signifies the bond between mother and child.
However, this specific tattoo design really captures the close bond between a mother and her child and emphasizes the link between them.
Mother elephants are highly protective over their youth and stay close to them until they are adults.
Many human mothers feel that way about their sons or daughters.
Elephant Mom and Baby tattoo is meant for someone who cherishes that family bond and wants to honor it and take it with them wherever they go.
Elephant with Lotus Flower Tattoo Meaning
A lotus flower tattoo can mean many things, including purity, rebirth, enlightenment, faith, and strength.
Many of these meanings relate to the symbolism of the elephant, which in this case is an Asian elephant.
This combination tattoo as a result can mean strength in your faith, especially in Buddhism.
It can also mean that you have great wisdom and consider yourself enlightened.
Elephant and Butterfly Tattoo Meaning
This tattoo design transforms an elephant into a monarch or any other colorful butterfly within its body or by simply giving it wings.
The elephant and butterfly tattoo symbolizes joy and strength in happiness.
It takes a lot of willpower to be happy, especially during rough times.
This tattoo represents pushing through the pain and realizing there is hope and laughter in life, as well as peace and joy.
Only then will you become more wise and enlightened.
Elephant and Octopus Tattoo Meaning
If you are looking for a tattoo that symbolizes intelligence, an elephant tattoo with an octopus tattoo is the way to go!
Both elephants and octopus tattoos are symbols of being smart but in a creative way.
This tattoo isn’t for someone who is book smart— it’s for someone who has creative intelligence and who flies by the seat of their pants when making decisions.
Elephant and Lion Tattoo Meaning
Combining the two faces of an elephant and a lion tattoo is a complicated design, but one worth your while.
These two dynamic and powerful animals represent in this tattoo design amazing strength and durability.
A lion is a fierce creature, while an elephant has quiet strength.
This duality makes for a heavy and powerful tattoo that is meant for someone who has endured great challenges and came out on the other side as a winner.
Elephant with Heart Tattoo Meaning
There are many creative ways to design an elephant with a heart tattoo, including making the shape of the elephant’s body into a heart by using its limbs or trunk.
Sometimes, two elephants face each other with their trunks holding a heart.
This symbolism means that your love for someone or yourself is strong and you have a bond that cannot be broken.
Elephant with Balloon Tattoo Meaning
There is an interesting contrast between a heavy elephant and a light and airy balloon in this tattoo design.
The meaning of this tattoo design is even when your feeling heavy you can be lifted high into the air by almost magical power.
Even when the going gets rough, there will always be something incredible to lift you up.
Ganesha Tattoo Meaning
Ganesha, or Ganesh, is the Hindu God who has the head of an elephant and the body of a human.
This special God makes for a very special tattoo because Ganesha is one of the most highly worshipped Gods in Hinduism.
The meaning of this tattoo is intelligence, wisdom, and having big ideas because of his massive head.
The Ganesha tattoo is meant for someone who uses their intellect to create amazing ideas that impress everyone with their skill.
Japanese Elephant Tattoo Meaning
The Japanese elephant, also called Baku, is an eye-catching Japanese tattoo motif.
The Baku, often depicted with a strange smile on its face, is believed to devour the bad thoughts plaguing us
Japanese elephant tattoos have become popular because of the creature’s significance as well as their beautiful imagery — this striking mythological animal makes for an excellent tattoo that serves a powerful purpose.
A creature made of multiple animals, the Baku is known as a protector from fatal diseases, so this tattoo could be a preventative measure against illness.
The Baku tattoo is also known to prevent bad dreams and literally eat your nightmares— but if you’re not careful, it could eat your dreams as well.
It’s a risk that some, who dare, may take!
Rose Clock Elephant Tattoo Meaning
This combination of symbols may make your head spin when trying to figure out its meaning.
Elephant tattoos as we know tend to represent intelligence, but no matter how wise someone is time runs all of our lives.
But along with time comes love, which is where the rose tattoo comes into play.
We must be smart with the time that we have but always keep in mind that love is the answer to all of our questions.
Main Themes in Elephant Tattoos
One elephant tattoo isn’t nearly the same as another!
There are many variations and themes to elephant tattoos, so many that we tried to cover as many as possible.
Keep in mind that the main theme in elephant tattoo meanings is intelligence, but there is so much more.
Let’s take a look at some of the main themes in elephant tattoos.
Matching Elephant Tattoos
If you’re thinking about getting matching elephant tattoos, think about what you two have in common.
If you feel a lot of compassion towards each other and value empathy in general, then elephants may be the perfect matching tattoo for best friends who love each other unconditionally, or any other type of relationship.
Elephant Tattoos for Mother & Daughter
Elephant tattoos are a great choice for a mother-daughter tattoo because a mother shares her wisdom with her daughter throughout her life.
The elephant is a symbol of wisdom and overcoming obstacles.
These are two things that mother and daughter share.
This is a wonderful memory to have together!
Baby Elephant Tattoos
Baby elephant tattoos are not only cute but meaningful as well.
A young elephant has not yet learned anything about the world but will grow up to become a wonderful being.
We all are young elephants, in a way, because we each start fresh and learn about the world through experiences.
A baby elephant tattoo symbolizes growth and learning through life (plus, it’s really cute).
Elephant Head Tattoos
There’s something about an elephant’s head we seem to love as part of art, logos, and of course the popular elephant head tattoo.
In African culture, an elephant head tattoo symbolizes wisdom, strength, and good luck.
In Buddhism, an elephant head tattoo could be a symbol of the slow and steady path to enlightenment.
Overall, an elephant head tattoo can be considered a symbol of good luck, prosperity, wisdom, and protection.
If you appreciate elephants for their sweet dispositions and intelligence, reflect that with a fun floral tattoo motif.
We love the mix of shape and texture in these pieces- the grandiose feeling of an elephant, mixed with the delicate beauty of a fragile bloom.
Angry Elephant Tattoos
An angry elephant tattoo symbolizes the power of the elephant and its dark side.
Elephants when angry can become vicious and will protect their children or whatever is important to them.
If you want your tattoo to symbolize that you are a powerful person who can protect yourself from anyone and anything then this is a great tattoo for you.
Cute Elephant Tattoos
Many people find elephants absolutely adorable, myself included.
This tattoo is more for the aesthetic value of the elephant because of its beautiful nature.
Many cute elephant tattoos have the elephant dressed up with gems and crowns to add to its beauty.
A cute elephant tattoo is a great addition to anyone’s collection of tattoos on their body, meaning you love pretty things and to be decorated with fine objects, and in this case, tattoos.
Elephant with Flower Tattoos
This tattoo is another aesthetic-based tattoo that has an elephant decorated with flowers on its head or adorned with flowers surrounding its head or body.
The flowers bring out the kindness of the elephant and its ultimate beauty as an amazing creature.
The meaning of an elephant with a flower tattoo is good luck and prosperous life.
Elephant Tattoo Styles
Elephant tattoos can be done in multiple styles, each affecting the meaning of the tattoo.
Elephant tattoos can be very minimal and bare-bones if that’s the style you prefer, or they can even be done in an American traditional style.
There are a few more styles we’ll discuss here, so take a look and pick out your favorite one!
Minimalist Elephant Tattoos
Minimalist elephant tattoos tend to be very small, like a wrist tattoo or on the ankle.
They aren’t filled in, instead, are simple lines made to form the outline of the elephant.
This very modern style of tattoo means that you tend to lean on the creative side.
You are highly intelligent on the right side of your brain.
One Line Elephant Tattoos
In a one-line tattoo, your artist has to portray an elephant with only one continuous line.
These tattoos are fascinating to look at, partially because you don’t often see this much negative space in a tattoo.
It’s a simple tattoo design, but unforgettable.
Realistic Elephant Tattoos
If you’re receiving a realistic elephant tattoo, that probably means you not only like the meaning that elephants bring to the table but also the look of them.
In fact, they are beautiful creatures!
A realistic tattoo means that you have developed a sense of courage and a deep passion for people with greater intelligence.
American Traditional Elephant Tattoos
This subject matter for American traditional tattoos is usually included with feathers, jewels, and rings attached to the tusks.
Sometimes, the trunk is even turned into a giant snake.
Whatever the composition, the American traditional elephant tattoo emphasizes the traditional elements of the elephant tattoo meaning such as bravery, intelligence, and perseverance.
Geometric Elephant Tattoos
These highly ornate elephants are a modern take on the traditional elephant tattoo and are a cool way to celebrate just a special animal.
The geometric tattoo pattern associated with the elephant’s composition implies that its wearer has a high IQ which tends to fall more in the category of math and sciences.
The type of person who gets a geometric elephant tattoo, however, could also be artistic with a mind of shapes.
Geometric tattoos play with symmetrical shapes and lines that, together, create one large image.
Most tattoo designs are compatible with a geometric approach, so you can combine techniques to create something completely new.
We’ve seen a lot of geometric watercolor mash-ups, which are so visually interesting because of the dichotomy between rigid lines and flowing color fills.
Breaking it down into its basic components a geometric elephant tattoo makes for a really neat effect.
It’s an original tattoo design that you won’t see too often.
Watercolor Elephant Tattoos
Watercolor tattoos are splashy and creative.
The style is a wonderful choice for animal tattoos because the designs embody a feeling of movement.
There’s something celebratory in a watercolor tattoo.
Even if it’s not the most realistic portrayal, it captures the majesty of well-loved creatures.
A watercolor elephant tattoo is sure to stand out from the herd.
Black-work Elephant Tattoos
Black-work tattoos have a high visual impact.
They’re extremely satisfying to the eye because of their use of contrast.
A black-work elephant tattoo will feature a creative interplay between negative space and sections of dark, saturated black.
It’s a powerful look for a powerful animal.
There’s a lot of versatility within this tattoo style, so your artist can create something truly unique.
Illustrative Elephant Tattoos
Illustrative tattoos have a smooth, painterly effect.
They can be beautiful and ethereal, or a little more light-hearted.
If you want a cool and artistic tattoo, there’s a lot of versatility within this style.
The main calling card of an illustrative elephant tattoo will be that it looks drawn or painted.
These tattoos are not meant to be 2D like American Traditional tattoo designs, but they also shouldn’t look photorealistic.
They’re a perfect tattoo choice for someone with an artsy streak.
Dot-work Elephant Tattoos
Dot-work, also known as a stippling or pointillism effect, is a clever choice for an animal with so much texture.
A dot-work elephant tattoo is artistic and somewhat abstract, but it reflects the essence of the creature.
In a dot-work tattoo design, thousands of dots join together to create an image, rather than long lines or color fills.
This is an interesting approach to depth and shading and is incredibly pleasing to the eye.
Neo-traditional Elephant Tattoos
A combination of American Traditional, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Japanese woodblock prints, there’s a lot to love about Neo-traditional tattoos.
Neo-traditional animal portraits are very popular on the tattoo scene because they’re expressive and fun, usually somewhat realistic with whimsical fantasy additions.
We love the Neo-traditional style for elephant tattoos because they can be everything an elephant is: playful and cute but also regal and enchanting.
Single Needle Elephant Tattoos
Single needle tattoos can be light and airy, and some tattoo artists are skilled enough to create light and shading with one needle only.
They will always have a feathery, pencil-light quality because they are executed with a thin tattoo needle.
Most tattoos are done with a variety of lines and shaders, each a bundle of a specific type of needle.
These tattoos are done with a single needle, so they resemble sketches.
A single needle elephant tattoo is a nice choice for someone who likes visual impact and wants an interesting piece, but doesn’t want to be too flashy about it.
Graphic Elephant Tattoos
One of the hottest tattoo techniques, as mentioned above, is to combine harsh symmetrical lines with the softer, more organic subject matter.
This is one of the many techniques you may see in a graphic tattoo.
Graphic tattoos combine several art styles to create one stunning piece.
Sketchy Elephant Tattoos
Have you ever looked at a sketch for something and admired its “rough around the edges” quality?
You aren’t alone, because this sketch-book style is becoming a popular look on the tattoo scene.
Sketchy tattoos feel vibrant and artistic the way a watercolor tattoo does, but they usually play it a little safer with color.
They look ripped from the pages of a sketchbook, hence the name.
If you aren’t a fan of the traditional bold lines in classic tattoos, this is a fun and contemporary direction to go in.
Etching Elephant Tattoos
Etching tattoos are meant to resemble wood carvings.
This style is a unique, graphic approach to tattooing.
An etching elephant tattoo is going to be a striking one.
It’s similar to the sketchy tattoo style, but with a more solid, 3D effect.
Etching tattoos will capture the raw power of an elephant.
If you admire this animal for its sheer magnitude, consider a bold etching design.
Contemporary Elephant Tattoos
“Contemporary” is a term that encompasses any fresh and innovative techniques in the world of tattoo.
Elephant tattoos are instantly recognizable, even if you get a little more abstract with your execution.
Contemporary tattoos are an exciting way to make sure your elephant tattoo is unlike any other.
Elephant Tattoo Ideas
Thinking of getting an elephant tattoo?
The possibilities are endless.
Narrow it down with some ideas from our tattoo gallery!
- Simple Elephant Head Tattoos
Because of their recognizable silhouette, elephant head tattoos can be as simple or as detailed as you like.
We love these simple designs for someone who wants some ink but doesn’t want to look like a coloring book. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that if you do!)
- Small Elephant Head Tattoos
You don’t have to go life-size on your elephant head tattoo.
Sometimes a small tattoo design has so much visual appeal because it doesn’t draw the eye all over the place, and it can fit on any part of your body you choose.
Good things can come in small trunks.
The larger a tattoo design is, the more fun you and your artist can have with details and custom additions.
Elephants are the largest living land mammal, so you’ll never go too big with a large elephant tattoo design.
- Ornamental Elephant Head Tattoos
The ornamental tattoo design is very compatible with elephant tattoos because it’s a highly decorative style.
When the two come together, it’s reminiscent of the painted elephants in Asian countries.
If you have some tie to Indian culture, this can be a wonderful and original tribute to your heritage.
In an ornamental elephant tattoo, every last detail is adorned with beautiful details and decorations.
When done by a skilled hand, it’s breathtaking rather than gaudy or overwhelming.
Perfect for someone who loves to live life out loud, who isn’t afraid to be bold.
- Black & Grey Elephant Tattoos
Black and grey is a versatile design.
In this genre, tattoos can be closer to portraiture, stylized, or some combination of techniques.
The thing that defines a black and grey tattoo is that it’s done with “washes” of black ink, diluted to different shades of grey, then layered to create depth and dimension.
Black and grey may be the perfect tattoo idea to bring out an elephant’s signature crinkles and wrinkles in a realistic way.
But there’s plenty of fun to be had with other tattoo designs as well.
As we all know, body placement is crucial.
If you want an elephant tattoo on your head that’s your prerogative, however, we have chosen three common places for elephant tattoos that are both practical and creative.
Elephant Tattoos on Thigh
An elephant thigh tattoo is a thoughtful placement and also means that you really want to show off your tattoo.
Therefore, this tattoo placement of an elephant means that you are a bold person who can be quiet and gentle, but if rubbed the wrong way, can become quite reckless.
Your thigh is a nice, fleshy area that makes the perfect canvas for a cool tattoo.
Most people have enough real estate on their thighs for a pretty rad, detailed tattoo design.
Bonus: You can hide your ink at work and show it off at the beach.
Elephant Tattoos on Forearm
This is a common spot for any style of elephant tattoo and is a great way to show it off.
In fact, it’s so common, I’m not going to lie to you there is really no extra meaning endowed with such placement.
Other than the fact that you are really proud of the tattoo design and style you have chosen, a forearm elephant tattoo is just a way of saying ‘hey, ask me what this means’.
Elephant Tattoos on Ankle
Want a tiny tattoo?
If you don’t want to go all out with your elephant tattoo, leave it to an ankle tattoo to have a little sneaky somethin’ hiding at the cusp of your pant leg.
This tattoo can mean that you value intelligence, are a brave person, or are wise beyond your years.
Elephant Chest Tattoos
Elephant tattoos are a natural fit for chest pieces.
The shape of your breastplate is the perfect home for wide ears and long tapered trunk.
Go bold and take up space with this dazzling tattoo design.
The elephant is an amazing animal for so many reasons.
As we’ve discussed, they can also be a bit temperamental.
However, the main object of an elephant tattoo meaning is being wise above all else, which is a trait that should be most important to all of us.
So, if you are considering an elephant tattoo, make sure you choose a tattoo design and tattoo style which speaks to your soul.
Alyssa Renee Hardy
Alyssa Renee Hardy is a writer, curator, and photographer who publishes articles on the topics of the arts, culture, and social justice. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in fashion business and art history and museum professions. Her experience working with a variety of art institutions, her world travel, and her inquisitive nature provides her with a unique insight. Check out her about page, she would love to connect with you!
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