Hebrew, Latin or Germanic
"life; bird; water, island"

Ava Origin and Meaning

The name Ava is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "life; bird; water, island".

Ava is one of the prime examples of a modern classic name, rising thought the course of a generation into the Top 10, where it has lingered for nearly 20 years.

In medieval times, Ava was a diminutive of Germanic names beginning in Av-, in particular Aveline, from which the name Evelyn would eventually arise. It may derive from a Proto-Germanic root meaning "island" or "water". However, the medieval name eventually fell out of use entirely, only to resurface in contemporary times.

This suggests that today’s Ava may be a modern variation of Eva. Alternatively, Ava could also derive from the Latin avis, meaning "bird." Ava has separate Persian roots as a name meaning "voice" or "sound."

Ava was given a huge popularity boost—Ava's currently among the top girl names and the top girls' name starting with A—when dozens of high-profile stars such as Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman chose Ava for their daughters. Another reason for its appeal: It's one of the elite group of girl names that mean life. This Glamour Girl name via Hollywood beauty Ava Gardner is attractive but epidemically popular!

Some parents who love Ava's simplicity and style have looked on to other choices that might take her place: Eva, Avery, Ada, Aveline and so on. The result, as with other popular names such as Hailey and Aiden that have spawned a raft of imitators, is that Ava is beginning to feel even more ubiquitous than it might otherwise based on its Top 5 standing.

Ava seemed to be headed towards Number 1—it's no accident we titled one of our books on baby name style Beyond Ava & Aiden—but, though it seems to have been somewhat side-swiped by the Olivia-Isabella-Sophia group, it will still certainly stay in the Top 10 for years to come. It's a lovely name on many levels, but if you want something that will stand out, keep looking.

One of the most fascinating things about Ava is that it's a much more ancient name than its modern-feeling sleekness would suggest. St. Ava was the daughter of King Pepin and was cured of blindness and became a nun.

While Ava Gardner represents the Golden Age of Hollywood image of the name, director Ava DuVernay updates it to new Hollywood, together showcasing the name's attractive mix of glamor and strength.

# 8 in the US

Ava Rank in US Top 1000

# 25 on Nameberry

Ava Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Ava Popularity

Famous People Named Ava

  • Saint AvaPrincess of Aquitaine; daughter of Pepin II; cured of blindness by Saint Rainfredis, then became a Benedictine nun
  • Ava Marie DuVernayAmerican film director
  • Ava Lowle WillingAmerican Socialite; first wife of John Jacob Astor IV
  • Ava Alice Muriel AstorAmerican Socialite; daughter of John Jacob Astor IV and Ava Lowle Willing
  • Ava Lavinia GardnerAmerican Actress and Singer
  • Ava Marlene BarberAmerican country music singer
  • Ava Leigh (born Hayley Carline)British reggae singer
  • Ava11th century poet; first woman writer in German
  • Ava Astaire McKenziedaughter of actor and dancer Fred Astaire
  • Ava Elizabeth Samboradaughter of Richie Sambora and Heather Locklear (b. 1997)
  • Ava Elizabeth Phillippedaughter of Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon (b. 1999)
  • Ava Archer Reeves (b. 1999)stillborn daughter of actor Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Syme
  • Ava Elizabeth DeLonge (b. 2002)daughter of musician Tom DeLonge and Jennifer Jenkins
  • Ava Rose Kathleen McBride (b. 2005)daughter of singer Martina McBride
  • Ava Eliot Jackman (b. 2005)daughter of actors Hugh Jackman and Deborra Lee Furness
  • Ava Mazurkiewicz (b. 2006)daughter of drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz of Cannibal Corpse
  • Ava Carpinello (b. 2006)daughter of actors Amy Acker and James Carpinello
  • Ava Lorenn Gosselaar (b. 2006)daughter of actors Mark,Paul Gosselaar and Lisa Ann Russell
  • Ava Dillon (b. 2006)daughter of actors Kevin Dillon and Jane Stuart
  • Ava Veronica Priestley (b. 2007)daughter of actor and director Jason Priestley
  • Ava Lila Rae Niccol (b. 2008)daughter of model Rachel Roberts and director Andrew Niccol
  • Ava Rhea Economopoulos (b. 2008)daughter of comedians Caroline Rhea and Costaki Economopoulos
  • Ava Jean Blanchard (b. 2008)daughter of actress Tammy Blanchard
  • Ava LaRynn Davis (b. 2009)daughter of singer LaKisha Jones and Larry Davis
  • Ava Madelyn McGee (b. 2009)daughter of golfer Annika Sorenstam and Mike McGee
  • Ava Salazar (b. 2009)daughter of actress Paz Vega and Orson Salazar
  • Ava Katherine Otto (b. 2010)daughter of country music singer James Otto
  • Ava Reese Biermann (b. 2010)daughter of actress Andrea Roth and Todd Biermann
  • Ava Grace Strickland (b. 2011)daughter of reality TV's Melissa Rycroft and Tye Strickland
  • Ava Frances Manning (b. 2011)daughter of football player Eli Manning and Abby McGrew
  • Ava Jaymes McLean (b. 2012)daughter of singer A.J. McLean and Rochelle Karidis
  • Ava Berlin Renner (b. 2013)daughter of actor Jeremy Renner and Sonni Pacheco
  • Ava Grace Pobre (b. 2014)daughter of actress Stacy Keibler and Jared Pobre
  • Ava Marie Jean Wayans (b. 2014)daughter of Vanessa Simmons and Michael Wayans
  • Ava Obi (b. 2015)daughter of footballer Mikel Obi
  • Ava Marie Grace Faustino (b. 2015)daughter of actor David Faustino and Lindsay Bronson
  • Ava Lane Busby (b. 2015)one of the Busby Quints on "Outdaughtered"
  • Ava Kemp (b.2017)daughter of actor Ross Kemp
  • Ava Laverne West (b. 2018)daughter of American actress Amber Stevens West & American actor Andrew J. West
  • Ava Addams (b. 1985) Adult actress
  • Ava Max (b. 1994Amanda Ava Koci), American singer/songwriter, singer of breakthrough song "Sweet But Psycho"

Ava in Pop Culture

  • Ava Londoncharacter in "Beneath the Glitter" by Elle and Blair Fowler
  • Ava Jeromecharacter on American soap "General Hospital"
  • Ava Bentoncharacter on American soap "All My Children"
  • Ava Peraltacharacter on American soap "Guiding Light"
  • Ava Mooretransgender character on TV's "Nip/Tuck"
  • Ava Lordcharacter in in the "Sin City" series
  • Ava Gregorymain character on TV's "Summerland"
  • Ava Marchettamain character in movie "Material Girls"
  • Ava Barlowcharacter in Kristen Ahsley's "Rock Chick" series
  • Ava Iremain character in webcomic "Ava's Demon"
  • Ava Hartmancharacter on British soap "EastEnders"
  • Ava Walkercharacter in 1999 film "Tumbleweeds"
  • Ava Garden Wildercharacter in Nina LaCour's "Everything Leads to You"
  • Ava Wilhelmina Lavendermain character in Leslye Walton's "The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender"
  • Ava Ayala aka White Tigercharacter in Marvel comics
  • Avahumanoid robot in the film "Ex Machina"
  • Ava InferiPortuguese musical group
  • AvaPersian name meaning "voice"
  • Ava Adoresong by Smashing Pumpkins
  • Ava Morgensterncharacter on "Girl Meets World"
  • Ava Wilsoncharacter in "Supernatural" season 2
  • Ava Jeffordsson of Terrence "Terry" Jeffords in Brooklyn Nine Nine

Ava in Nameberry Blog Posts