eh-LAY-nah, eh-LEN-ah, EL-en-ah
Spanish, Italian, German, Greek variation of Helen
"bright, shining light"

Elena Origin and Meaning

The name Elena is a girl's name of Spanish, Italian, Greek origin meaning "bright, shining light".

Elena is at its most popular point ever in the US, thanks to its cross-cultural appeal and the overall popularity of El- names. It's more international than Ellen or Eleanor, but still accessible.

A pan-European version of Helen, Elena has roots in Spanish, Italian, Slavic, and Romanian, among other languages. Helen, the name from which it derives, came from the Greek word helene, meaning "torch." Alternate spellings include Elaina, Ellena, and Alena.

Elena may be trending, but she's also a solid classic as well as an international favorite. Elena ranks highly in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain along with a host of other countries.

A worthy namesake is Elena Kagan, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the fourth female to hold that position. Pseudonymous Italian writer Elena Ferrante, author of the Neapolitan Novels, is another famous Elena.

A fictional bearer is Elena Gilbert, protagonist of The Vampire Diaries. and Elena Lincoln is a character in Fifty Shades of Grey. Elena of Avalor is a princess featured in the Disney Junior show of that name.

Read more about Elena and other Disney Princess Names in our featured blog.

# 47 in the US

Elena Rank in US Top 1000

# 83 on Nameberry

Elena Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Elena Popularity

Famous People Named Elena

  • Elena PetrovićNjegoš of Montenegro, Queen consort of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and Albania
  • Elena Jane "Ellie" GouldingEnglish singer
  • Elena Sergeevna "Lena" KatinaRussian singer of group t.A.T.u
  • Elena KaganU.S. Supreme Court Justice
  • Elena Alexandrovna LikhovtsevaRussian tennis player
  • Elena BăsescuRomanian MEP
  • Elena Ferrantepenname of an unknown Italian novelist
  • Elena Gantreality TV personality from "Little Women: LA"
  • Elena GoodeAmerican actress
  • Elena María Isabel Dominica de Silos de Borbón y de GreciaInfanta of Spain; Duchess of Lugo; daughter of Juan Carlos I
  • ElenaPrincess of Romania; daughter of Michael I
  • Elena Delle DonneAmerican basketball player
  • Elena BibescuRomanian princess and pianist
  • Elena Olegovna BovinaRussian tennis player
  • Elena RadionovaRussian figure skater
  • Elena Sergeevna BaltachaUkrainian,British tennis player
  • Elena Slivnyakfashion designer and former "Project Runway" contestant
  • Elena VesninaRussian tennis player
  • Elena Viatcheslavovna DementievaRussian tennis player
  • Eleni "Elena" PaparizouGreek,Swedish singer
  • Elena EreminaRussian gymnast
  • Elena ArenasAmerican gymnast
  • Elena Neill (b. 1991)daughter of actor Sam Neill
  • Elena Kitic (b. 1998)daughter of Serbian stars Mile Kitic & Marta Savic
  • Elena BinevaBulgarian rhythmic gymnast
  • Elena KongHong,Kong actress

Elena in Pop Culture

  • Elena Gilbertcharacter in The Vampire Diaries series
  • Elena "Helene" Vasilyevna Kuraginacharacter from Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace
  • Elena Castillo Flores of AvalorDisney Princess on animated series "Elena of Avalor"
  • Elena Houghlincharacter in 2019's "Charlie's Angels"
  • Elena Tylercharacter on TV's "Felicity"
  • Elena Ramoscharacter on TV's "Dallas"
  • Elena Fishercharacter in the video game 'Uncharted'
  • Elena Lincolncharacter in the Fifty Shades of Grey series
  • Godmother Elenamain character in "The Fairy Godmother"
  • ElenaDaemon Spade's lover in the series, 'Katekyo Hitman Reborn!'
  • Elenacharacter in the game 'Final Fantasy VII'
  • Elena Derevkocharacter on TV's Alias
  • Elena "YoYo" Rodriguez, character on TV's "Agents of SHIELD"
  • Elenacharacter in the Street Fighter video games
  • Elena Grecoheroine and narrator of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels
  • Elena Galathynius Havilliardhalf,fae Queen from the Throne of Glass novels
  • Elena Antonov Michaels Danversmain character in Kelley Armstrong "Women of the Otherworld"
  • Elena Alvarezcharacter in Netflix's "One Day At A Time"