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Scriptsמִיכָאֵל Ancient Hebrew Μιχαηλ Ancient Greek
PronouncedPron.MIE-kəl English
MI-kha-el German
MEE-kah-el SwedishNorwegianDanish

Meaning & History

From the Hebrew name מִיכָאֵל (Mikha'el) meaning "who is like God?". This is a rhetorical question, implying no person is like God. Michael is one of the archangels in Hebrew tradition and the only one identified as an archangel in the Bible. In the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament he is named as a protector of Israel. In the Book of Revelation in the New Testament he is portrayed as the leader of heaven's armies in the war against Satan, and is thus considered the patron saint of soldiers in Christianity.

The popularity of the saint led to the name being used by nine Byzantine emperors, including Michael VIII Palaeologus who restored the empire in the 13th century. It has been common in Western Europe since the Middle Ages, and in England since the 12th century. It has been borne (in various spellings) by rulers of Russia (spelled Михаил), Romania (Mihai), Poland (Michał), and Portugal (Miguel). Other bearers of this name include the British chemist/physicist Michael Faraday (1791-1867), musician Michael Jackson (1958-2009), and basketball player Michael Jordan (1963-).
VariantsMicheal English Mikael Swedish Mikael, Mikkel Norwegian Mikael, Mikkel Danish Maikel, Michaël, Michiel Dutch Michal Czech Mikhael Biblical Greek
DiminutivesMick, Mickey, Micky, Mike, Mikey English Micha, Michel, Michi German Micha, Mick Dutch
Feminine FormsMakayla, Mckayla, Michaela, Michele, Michelle, Mikayla, Mikki English Michaela, Micha, Michi German Michaela, Mikaela Swedish Mikaela Norwegian Mikaela, Mikkeline Danish Michelle Dutch Michaela, Michala Czech
Other Languages & CulturesMikha'il Arabic Mikel, Mitxel Basque Mikha'el Biblical Hebrew Mihail, Mikhail, Misho Bulgarian Miquel Catalan Myghal Cornish Mihael, Mihovil, Miho, Mijo, Miško Croatian Miĥaelo, Mikelo, Miĉjo Esperanto Mihkel Estonian Mikkjal Faroese Mikael, Mika, Mikko, Miska Finnish Michel, Michaël, Mickaël French Mikheil, Misho Georgian Michail, Michalis, Mihail, Mihalis Greek Mikala Hawaiian Mikha'el Hebrew Mihály, Miksa, Misi, Miska Hungarian Mícheál Irish Michele Italian Mihails, Miķelis Latvian Mykolas Lithuanian Mihail Macedonian Mikaere Maori Michel Medieval French Michał Polish Miguel, Miguelito Portuguese Mihai, Mihail, Mihăiță Romanian Michail, Mikhail, Misha Russian Mihkkal Sami Mìcheal, Micheil Scottish Mihailo, Mihajlo, Mijo, Miša, Miško Serbian Michal Slovak Mihael, Miha Slovene Miguel, Miguelito Spanish Mikail Turkish Mikhailo, Mykhailo, Mykhaylo, Mykhail Ukrainian Meical Welsh
Same SpellingMichaël


Saint Michael the Archangel fighting Satan, painting by Luca Giordano (1663)Saint Michael the Archangel fighting Satan, painting by Luca Giordano (1663)


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Entry updated May 31, 2018   Contribute