Gender Feminine
Pronounced Pron. /sɛ.ˈsiː.li.ə/(English) /sɛ.ˈsiːl.jə/(English) /t͡ʃe.ˈt͡ʃiː.lja/(Italian) /θe.ˈθi.lja/(European Spanish) /se.ˈsi.lja/(Latin American Spanish) seh-SEEL-yah(Danish, Norwegian)  [key·simplify]

Meaning & History

Latinate feminine form of the Roman family name Caecilius, which was derived from Latin caecus meaning "blind". Saint Cecilia was a semi-legendary 2nd or 3rd-century martyr who was sentenced to die because she refused to worship the Roman gods. After attempts to suffocate her failed, she was beheaded. She was later regarded as the patron saint of music and musicians.

Due to the popularity of the saint, the name became common in the Christian world during the Middle Ages. The Normans brought it to England, where it was commonly spelled Cecily — the Latinate form Cecilia came into use in the 18th century.

Related Names

VariantsCecelia, Cecily, Cicely(English) Cecilie, Sidsel(Danish) Cecilie, Sidsel, Sissel(Norwegian)
DiminutivesCece, Celia, Cissy, Sissie, Sissy(English) Cilla(Swedish) Cille, Silje, Sille(Danish) Silje(Norwegian) Cilla, Silke(Dutch) Silja(Finnish)
Masculine FormsCecil(English) Cecilio(Spanish)
Other Languages & CulturesCaecilia(Ancient Roman) Cecília(Catalan) Cecilija(Croatian) Cecílie, Cecilie(Czech) Silja(Estonian) Cécile, Cécilia(French) Cäcilia, Cäcilie, Silke, Zilla(German) Cecília, Cili(Hungarian) Sheila, Síle(Irish) Cecylia(Polish) Cecília, Cila(Portuguese) Tsetsiliya(Russian) Sìleas(Scottish Gaelic) Cecília(Slovak) Cecilija, Cilka(Slovene) Cecilija(Sorbian)
Same SpellingCécilia, Cecília
User SubmissionCecilía


People think this name is

classic   formal   upper class   natural   wholesome   delicate   refined   strange   serious  

Name Days

Denmark: November 22
Estonia: November 22
Finland: November 22
Italy: November 22
Sweden: November 22


Saint Cecilia by John William Waterhouse (1895)Saint Cecilia by John William Waterhouse (1895)


Entry updated April 23, 2024