Edit Status Status [show contributors]
Meaning & History
English form of the Roman cognomen Pilatus, which meant "armed with a javelin" from Latin pila "javelin". This was most famously borne by Pontius Pilate, the prefect of the Roman province of Judaea ca. AD 26-36 who allegedly tried, judged, and sentenced Jesus during his term of office. It came into use as an English name in the 18th century.