Monkey tattoo meaning and symbolism

The monkey symbolizes intelligence, sagacity and wisdom. They are curious beings that like to explore the world around them.

This little animal is capable of imitating other monkeys or humans (i.e., camouflage), which makes it a great metaphor for creativity; art; musicality; mimicry; intuition; adaptability; quick-wittedness; as well as for a multitude of other cognitive attributes.

In some countries, such as China and Japan, the monkey is seen as a sacred creature because it represents the sun or moon (in Japanese culture) or symbolizes good luck depending on the type of monkey (i.e., a white monkey brings peace).

Monkey arm tattoo
Monkey arm tattoo @ tattooist_eheon

What does a monkey tattoo mean?

A monkey tattoo can have many significances depending on the type of monkey, whether it is a real life species of ape or an imaginary Simian character.


One possible interpretation for a monkey tattoo is freedom and independence. The animal usually symbolizes someone that seeks adventure, even if it means breaking free from their comfort zone to do so. This person may also be a bit mischievous and a troublemaker.


Another meaning for a monkey tattoo is that it can symbolize creativity or being able to have great ideas. Someone that has this character trait likes to explore their surroundings just as monkeys do, and they are capable of quickly adapting to new situations. In addition, they enjoy imitating others and they have a good sense of humor.


In regards to the sun or moon symbolism, a monkey can symbolize being able to rise above one’s limitations or an elevated state of consciousness. Those that get this type of tattoo believe in their own intuition, pay attention to small details and are usually talented at extrapolating information (i.e., coming up with logical explanations).


This animal can also represent someone that is mischievous, lively and always eager to come up with new ideas. Similar to the symbolism of creating or being creative, a monkey tattoo might represent an artistic person that likes the spotlight and enjoys taking risks. They have a natural talent for thinking on their feet and they find pleasure in exploring their surroundings.

Monkey tattoos and life path

A monkey tattoo can symbolize an adventurous person that likes to explore the world around them (just like a monkey). They enjoy trying new things and don’t like staying in one place for too long.


This small animal also represents someone that can quickly think on their feet and enjoys playing tricks on others. They become bored easily and do not like to be controlled by others.

In addition, a monkey tattoo might indicate that the person is very curious and self-centered at times. This individual can be difficult to manage because they often need their own space and they don’t like being told what to do (they seek independence).


A monkey can also represent someone that is very intelligent and wise. This person is usually an excellent communicator with great observation skills. They are also resourceful and independent, just like a monkey in the wild.

What does a tattoo of an ape mean?

Tattoos featuring apes (i.e., Gorillas, Chimpanzees) are generally associated with strength and wisdom. Someone that has a gorilla tattoo might be a strong-willed person that is not afraid to speak their mind or stand up for what they believe in.

In this case, the ape symbolizes being powerful and having a great presence. They also represent intelligence and intuition. This person is usually a good listener and they tend to have a hot temper.

tattoo of an ape in the arm
tattoo of an ape in the arm @ tabu_tattoo