What Does a Teardrop Tattoo on the Face Symbolize?

The teardrop tattoo is a prison tattoo that has different meanings depending on location, but a widely accepted meaning is that a wearer of a teardrop tattoo has committed murder or attempted to commit murder. Another common meaning is the number of terms a prisoner has served or that the prisoner is serving a life sentence.

People with teardrop tattoos may have a solid, black teardrop or an outline of a teardrop. The outline of a teardrop may mean attempted murder or that the inmate is seeking revenge for murder. Rappers and celebrities sometimes have a teardrop tattoo, making them popular in mainstream culture.