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ScriptsΕιρηνη Ancient Greek
PronouncedPron.ie-REEN English
ie-REE-nee English
ee-RE-ne ItalianSpanish
EE-re-ne Finnish
ee-RE-nə German
ee-RAY-nə Dutch

Meaning & History

From Greek Ειρηνη (Eirene), derived from a word meaning "peace". This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified peace, one of the ‘Ωραι (Horai). It was also borne by several early Christian saints. The name was common in the Byzantine Empire, notably being borne by an 8th-century empress, who was the first woman to lead the empire. She originally served as regent for her son, but later had him killed and ruled alone.

This name has traditionally been more popular among Eastern Christians. In the English-speaking world it was not regularly used until the 19th century.
VariantsIria Portuguese Irina Finnish Eirene Ancient Greek Eirene Greek Mythology
DiminutiveIrja Finnish
Other Languages & CulturesIrena, Irina Bulgarian Irena, Ena Croatian Irena, Irenka Czech Irène French Iria Galician Irina, Irine Georgian Eirini, Irini Greek Irén Hungarian Eireen Irish Irena Lithuanian Irina Macedonian Irena, Irenka Polish Irina Romanian Irina, Arina, Arisha, Ira, Irinushka Russian Irena Serbian Irena Slovene Iryna Ukrainian
Same SpellingIrène
User SubmissionIreñe


Byzantine empress Irene, from Saint Mark's Basilica in VeniceByzantine empress Irene, from Saint Mark's Basilica in Venice


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Entry updated December 8, 2017   Contribute