What Does Spider Web Tattoo Mean On Elbow? Meaning Of Spider Web Tattoos

Last Updated on September 24, 2023 by Chase Reiner

A spider web tattoo on the elbow often symbolizes time spent in prison. In some prison cultures, it represents the wearer’s involvement in criminal activities. However, meanings can vary, and not all who have this tattoo have a criminal history.

Spider Web Tattoo Mean On Elbow

The Meaning Of Spider Web Tattoo On Elbow

The world of tattoos is incredibly complex and every art form or design symbolizes a unique narrative. One such intriguing symbol is the spider web tattoo on the elbow, commonly worn by individuals across the world. While often misunderstood and misconstrued, this tattoo holds interesting meanings that vary on different personal and cultural levels.

1. A Symbol of Time Spent in Prison

The spider web tattoo has strong associations with the prison culture. Frequently, over time, certain tattoo symbols gain popularity and become widely recognized within specific communities. Within the realm of prison culture, the spider web tattoo on the elbow often resembles the time individuals have spent behind bars.

2. Mark of a Struggle

A spider web is also an iconic representation of struggle and hardship. Just as a spider gets bound within its own web, penning a spider web on the elbow symbolizes how individuals may feel entangled within their own life circumstances. It’s a powerful symbol, particularly for those who have wrestled with internal or external battles in life.

Symbol of Prison TimeWidespread in prison culture, representing time spent behind bars
Mark of StruggleA representation of personal hardships and struggle

3. Association with Hate Groups

The spider web tattoo, notably on the elbow, also has significant ties to hate groups and racism in certain contexts. For instance, the white supremacist group, the Aryan Brotherhood, often uses this tattoo on their members to represent racial hatred, although this is not a universal interpretation of the design.

4. Symbol of Power and Fear

In some societies, the spider symbolizes power and fear. When coupled with a web on the elbow, it may represent an individual’s control and supremacy within a certain group or situation. It can also mean one’s capability to induce fear in others.

5. Connection with Life

Interpreted positively, a spider web tattoo can symbolize the complex web of life. The interconnected strands of the web represent how our choices, actions, and experiences are all interwoven to create the tapestry of our lives.

In conclusion, the spider web tattoo on the elbow has multifaceted symbolism. From signifying prison time, hardships, hate, power, or the complexities of life, the interpretation can vastly differ from person to person. Therefore, one must always consider these various meanings when opting for such body art.

History Of Spider Web Tattoos

1. The spider web tattoos became popular in the USA in the 1970s and 1980s to symbolize the time spent behind bars. Prisoners used to have spider web tattoos inked on their elbows. Besides spider web tattoos, teardrop was also famous among the prisoners. 

2. Along with incarceration, people also used it as a symbol of racism. People used to ink spider web tattoos to show their loyalty to the white supremacy groups. 

3. The spider web tattoo is also a symbol of protection. It is a belief of several native American tribes that a spider woman protects all the newborns by weaving protective webs over newborns’ cradleboards. 

The Symbolism Of The Spider

People consider the spider as a creative force, which weaves the designs of life and fate. The spider establishes the power to work magic over things and people. It achieves several elements of control by weaving. When the prey is wrapped up, the rule is complete. 

Some find the spider as the symbol of infinity. Some find fear in a spider. The main lesson of the spider is maintaining the balance between past and future. 

Meaning Of Spider Web Tattoos

People thought earlier that the spider web tattoo reflects only negative things about nature. But in modern times, this belief has changed a lot. Nowadays, people take the spider web tattoo both positively and negatively. Here are some symbols of the spider web tattoo.

Positive Meanings

Spider web tattoos represent some positive things about nature, such as 

1. Magic

2. Beauty 

3. Safety

4. Protection

5. Creativity

Negative Meanings

The spider web tattoo symbolizes some negative things of nature, such as

1. Racism

2. Murder

3. Prison

4. Violence

5. Gangs

6. Incarceration

7. Evil

Why Is The Spider Web Tattoo Inked On Elbow Mostly?

There are many tattoo variations, and the most common spider web tattoo has the most pragmatic reason. Spider web tattoos are most commonly inked on the elbow area. The main reason is that the elbow area is notoriously more rigid than other parts of the body. The skin of the elbow is also thicker than another part.

 Additionally, the elbow is not much noticeable part of the body. Another most important reason is this tattoo is deeply connected with racism. In the earlier time, white people had to kill the minority to prove their gang’s loyalty. They used to ink this tattoo on the elbow area as a symbol of killing the minority. That is why tattoos on the elbow are most common.

Other Parts Of The Body To Ink A Spider Web Tattoo

People ink a spider web tattoo on various parts of the body other than the elbow. It depends on a person’s preferences. For example-

1. Some wear the tattoo on the hand.

2. Some people wear it on the knee.

3. Some people wear it on the shoulder.

4. Some people like to have it on the neck. 

5. Some people want it on the face.

Whatever the area is, the meaning is mostly associated with prison and racism. The definition varies depending on the race and wearer.

Similar Symbol Of Tattoos That Can Be Worn On The Elbow

Along with the spider, there are a lot of symbols to wear on the elbow. Some examples are-

StarSome people consider getting a star tattoo on the elbow instead of a spider web tattoo. 
HeartA heart, a diamond, or a skull can be a great tattoo choice.
VampireVampires, graves, gothic designs, or other dark symbols are also a preferable tattoo option.

Considerations Before Getting A Tattoo

Before getting a tattoo, you should take enough time to research the symbol and understand its proper meaning. For example, a spider web tattoo possesses both positive and negative connotations. So, you must know the significance of the tattoo before getting it. If you find out the opposite meaning later, it will be very unexpected because you have to wear this tattoo for the rest of your life. 


1. Why Do People Get Tattoos?

Answer: Some common reasons for getting a tattoo are media influence, personal preference, being part of a group, being accepted by friends, etc. 

2. What Are The Most Common Areas Of Getting A Tattoo?

Answer: The most common areas of getting a tattoo are the shoulders, wrists, chest, ankles, elbow, legs, ribcage, hips, hands, and face.

3. Which Tattoo Is The Most Famous?

Answer: Small tattoos are the most popular and smartest tattoos for men. Tribal tattoos, owl tattoos, lion tattoos, and phoenix tattoo are popular tattoos for men. 



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *