50+ Small 3 Dots Tattoos And Big Meanings Behind Them

3 dots tattoo isn’t as simple as it seems at first sight. Be ready to explore, since we have spent dozens of hours researching its deep meaning!

Getting a tattoo is a responsible step as it will stay with you your whole life. In this article, we decided to dive into researching 3 dots tattoos. They seem to be small but with a deep meaning, right? However, it is important to understand its history and patterns to avoid problems and be sure of what your ink depicts.  

Also, we want you to stand out with unique ideas, so we’ll recommend how to create your meaning behind the 3 dots tattoo. So be ready to explore this symbol’s exciting history and real examples!

⭐️ Bonus:
Our catalog with 1000+ tattoo artists is full of pros, who will help you to get the perfect ink and the personal deep meaning behind it.

History of the Three Dots Tattoo

Originally, three dots were associated with Mexican gangs. Don’t be afraid, as we’ll explain everything. Members of such gangs used to have three dots tattoos to show their affiliation to the gang. As a result, the most popular placement was facing, as it allows one to quickly recognize a person who is or was a criminal participant. 

Not all the gang members did three dots tattoos on their faces. Some of them preferred their hands or wrists tattooed, so they won’t be so visible to the police. But let’s talk about modern three dots tattoo meanings in the next section to find the reason for their popularity.

3 dot tattoo meaning

Meanings of the Three Dots

Today, three dots tattoos are one of the most popular minimalistic designs. But does it mean that people who ink this symbol on their bodies are gang members? Sure, it doesn’t! Everything evolves, so the three dots tattoo meaning does. 

The three dots used to represent the phrase “mi vida loca”, which means “my crazy life” in Spanish, signified a willingness to live a life of crime and violence. But today, it can simply remind you to live your best life. 

Where do you see the three dots the most? Right, at the end of the sentence! The ellipsis can represent the unfinished thought, while a three-dot tattoo can mean the ongoing life, where everything depends on you. So in this case, the three dots tattoo can be a reminder not to waste opportunities and live to the fullest. 

3 dot tattoo meaning

This tattoo may also have a religious meaning, as the three dots can be related to the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Moreover, birth, life, and death can be a meaning behind the three dots tattoos. So, as you can notice, many of the meanings are related to life itself, which doesn’t have to be criminal at all. 

❗️ Note:
You can always create an original meaning behind your tattoo as this will highlight your creativity, uniqueness, and personal traits. 

What Does a Triangle Pattern Mean?

What if you decided to make three dots tattoos in a triangle pattern? Does it have another meaning? We have found everything out for you!

Firstly, let’s discover what a triangle can be a symbol of. As we mentioned earlier, three dots in a triangle form can symbolize a Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Masonry in its turn has a triangle as a sign of the powerful and all-seeing eye of God. Additionally, you can imagine that each dot in the triangle stays for one of the earth symbols: earth, water, and fire. This meaning is perfect for those people who adore nature and animals, as this triangle will represent the connection with the world.

3 dot tattoo meaning

Some people see three dots in a triangle as a balance between body, mind, and spirit, which gives a tattoo truly deep meaning. And this triangle can suit those people, who look or have already found their inner peace, as this tattoo will remind them of the beauty of their uniqueness.

Differences Between Three and Five Dots Tattoos

As you may have guessed, the five dots tattoo has a similar history to the three dots one. Such tattoos were inked on the hand between the thumb and index finger in a form as the number five is pictured on a dice ?. So four dots in a square shape symbolize a jail cell and a central one – a prisoner. 

Nowadays, only a few people make such a tattoo, because it is difficult to put a general meaning there. But you can consider getting five dots tattoos that will be placed one by one. Five dots in a row can symbolize life elements compared to three dots: earth, fire, water, air, and space. You can even make not just dots, but something minimalistic that will depict every element.

😀 Fun fact:
Thomas Edison had a five dots tattoo in the way it is portrayed on a dice cube on his right forearm.
3 dot tattoo meaning

Best Placements & Ideas

Once you have a picture of three dots tattoo meaning, let’s find out what are the best places to consider and how you can point your individuality.  


These are one of the most popular places to get your three dots tattoo. It may seem that tattoos on fingers will pull too much attention, but three dots are an exception. We think that this kind of tattoo is an excellent highlighter of femininity when placed on fingers.


The next popular place to consider for your three dots tattoo is the wrists. Firstly, you will always see them, but it is easy to cover when needed. Adding a three dots tone will be ideal if you have another tattoo on your wrist.


This is the bravest placement for any tattoo possible. But as three dots tattoo is a tiny piece, it may have a very organic look, especially for men. The only advice we can give you is to consider your three dots being in a line, as this may help you to prevent some gang problems in the future. 

P.S. Even such a famous rapper as XXXtentacion had a three dots tattoo on his face.


Big space for creating unique ink art and ease of cover make the forearms top one placement not only for the three dots tattoo, but your first one in general. Also, it is hard to deny how aesthetically pleasant your forearm can become after getting tattooed.

Other Unique Ideas

If you find the previous placement too ordinary, we have some ideas to make your three dots tattoo outstanding. Women can find some of them even more attractive due to their greatest ability to highlight femininity.  While men can find a placement to make their three dots tattoo representing their calm and masculine mind. 

P.S. We bet you didn’t know Bella Khadid has a three dots tattoo!

Guide on Creating Your Meaning Behind Three Dots

Three dots tattoo is full of meanings, right? But as this tattoo will be permanently inked into your skin, we want you to have a unique meaning behind it. So let us reveal some ideas on highlighting your creativity and individuality.

💞 Connection. You can get three dots tattooed with someone you have special connections with. It can be family or close friends. But if three dots are not enough, feel free to get a five dots tattoo.

🌌 Constellation. We didn’t see any constellation tattoos with three or five allocated dots. Such an idea will make your tattoo more mysterious, while dots represent consistency. That means that everything in our lives isn’t random, but is a consequence of our actions.

📷 Picture. How about creating a double meaning for your three dots tattoo? You can come up with an idea of something important to you, but add a three dots symbol to it. For example, it can be some small portrait, your pet, or simply an object that impresses or inspires you a lot. Once such an object is found, try to implement three dots into it.

We have a guide for you on how to create an original meaning behind your tattoo to fulfill your ink with depth. 

Final Thoughts 

Three dots tattoos are a fantastic way to get a minimalistic design with a deep meaning. We also think that such a tattoo is a perfect option, as it’s difficult to imagine that you’ll regret getting three dots tattoos. Moreover, dots are tiny elements, so you can create any design possible if you want to make a composition with three dots. 

If you are about getting three dots tattoos, you’d better pay attention to our catalog with more than 1000 tattoo artists. Having a professional to get advice from is always better than doing the job yourself. So feel free to imagine, create, and explore to get an outstanding three dots tattoo design with the deepest meaning! 


👀 What Does the 3 Dot Symbol Mean?

You can give a three-dot tattoo your meaning. But in general, it used to stand for the unfinished journey, similar to the 3 dots at the end of the sentence. Also, the 3 dots tattoo can have a much deeper meaning, as the number three is sacred in many religions.

⋯ What Do Three Vertical Dots Symbolize?

Vertical dots are a symbol of life stages. The first dot represents birth, the second one is death, and the last one is reincarnation. And as reincarnation considers to be a rebirth, three dots can also symbolize the cyclical nature of our lives.

🖖 What Does 3 Dots Tattoo Mean on Hand?

Three dots on your hand can mean an unfinished life journey. But if you decide to place it in a triangle pattern, it may symbolize the Holy Trinity or balance between your body, mind, and spirit.

⋮ What Is the Symbol of 3 Horizontal Dots?

Three horizontal dots can be a reminder of your life journey: birth, life, and death. In addition, as three horizontal dots are popular as ellipsis, such a tattoo can symbolize your life journey, meaning that it always continues, and only you can control it to achieve your final goal.


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