Skip to main content

Updated June 5, 2024

Table of contents

Girl name origins & meanings

What does Maria mean and stand for?


  • Latin: Sea of bitterness, beloved, or drop of the sea
  • Hebrew: Wished-for child
  • Arabic: Rebellious
  • Hebrew: Bitter; the star of the sea; rebellion

Gender: Female

Syllables: 3

Pronunciation: The name Maria is pronounced ma-REE-ah

The name Maria has a rich historical and cultural background. Derived from the Latin name "Marius," it has roots in ancient Rome and was later influenced by the Hebrew name "Miriam," meaning "wished-for child." In Arabic, Maria is associated with "rebellious." Over time, it has become celebrated globally, with notable variations in different languages. The name often carries connotations of purity, love, and strength.

How Popular Is The Name Maria

Family name origins & meanings

Spanish (María), Italian, Portuguese, and Hungarian (Mária): from the female personal name, Latin Maria, which arose as a back-formation from the early Christian female name Mariam. This was mistaken for an accusative case, with the usual Latin feminine accusative ending -am, but in fact it is an Aramaic form of the Hebrew name Miryam (see Marie).

Famous people with this first name

Famous people who gave their babies this name

Maria in Pop Culture

Do you know these fictional characters that share this first name?

  • Maria Von Trapp from The Sound of Music - A young postulant who becomes a governess for the seven children of a widowed naval captain, and eventually marries him.
  • Maria Reynolds from Hamilton - A woman who has an affair with Alexander Hamilton, leading to a major scandal in the musical.
  • Maria Hill from The Avengers - A high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who assists Nick Fury and the Avengers.
  • Maria Puzo from The Godfather - The wife of Vito Corleone in Mario Puzo's novel and its adaptations.
  • Maria de Lourdes from Maria Full of Grace - A pregnant Colombian teenager who becomes a drug mule in the film.

Popularity of the Name Maria 

According to the Social Security Administration data, Maria has consistently been a popular name in the United States. Historically, Maria has often ranked within the top 50 names and continues to be well-loved for its simplicity and elegance. The name Maria has Biblical origins and is widely used in many cultures and languages, contributing to its enduring appeal.

Throughout history, several notable figures have borne the name Maria. Saint Maria Goretti, an Italian martyr of the Catholic Church, is one of the most revered historical figures with the name. It is popular through all mediums, with namesakes such as opera's Maria Callas (born Sophia Cecelia), tennis's Maria Yuryevna Sharapova, actress Maria Teresa Dizzia, and various royalty. In literature and entertainment, Maria has been popularized by characters such as Maria in the musical West Side Story and Maria von Trapp from The Sound of Music. Prominent actresses like Maria Bello and Maria Menounos have also contributed to the name's popularity in modern times.

Where Is the Name Maria Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Maria

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • Ari
  • Mar
  • Mary
  • Mia
  • Mimi
  • Ree
  • Ria

Maria Pairs Well With These Middle Names

Looking for a middle name that fits perfectly? Consider these!

Join the Family

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.