Irene Origin and Meaning

The name Irene is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "peace".

Serene Irene, the name of the Greek goddess of peace and one of the most familiar Greek goddess names, was hugely popular in ancient Rome and again in the United States a hundred years ago.

One of the most popular names of the Roman Empire and the name of several early saints, this originally Greek name (then spelled Eirene) represented a daughter of Zeus who was the goddess of peace. Often pronounced with three syllables, it spread throughout Europe in a range of variations and is a royal name in Greece, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Much of Irene's popularity in England stemmed from the character Irene Forsyte in Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga (pronounced eye-reen-ee). Americans identified it with the sparkling Irene Dunne of Hollywood's Golden Age. Irene was a Top 20 name from 1915 to 1925, remaining in the Top 100 until 1945. It still highly popular in Spain.

Some other references include the eponymous early smash hit Broadway musical, famed ballroom dancer Irene Castle (portrayed on film by Ginger Rogers), the Hollywood costume designer known simply as Irene, the Uma Thurman character in Gattaca, Irene Denholm the Harry Potter student at Hogwarts School, and the lullaby-ready song Goodnight, Irene.

# 674 in the US

Irene Rank in US Top 1000

# 270 on Nameberry

Irene Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Irene Popularity

Famous People Named Irene

  • Irenestage name of Bae Joohyun; rapper, dancer, singer, and leader of South Korean girl group Red Velvet
  • Irene Marie DunneAmerican actress
  • Irene BordoniCorsican French singer
  • Irene Cara (Escalera)American singer
  • Irene CastleAmerican ballroom dancer
  • Irene JoliotCurie, French scientist, daughter of Marie Curie
  • Irene Urdangaria­n y Bourbondaughter of Infanta Cristina of Spain
  • Irene (Lentz)American costume designer
  • Irene VanbrughEnglish actress
  • Irene VernonAmerican actress
  • Irene Frances RichAmerican actress
  • Irene of AthensByzantine Empress
  • Irene PapasGreek actress
  • Irene HandlEnglish actress
  • Irene Worth (born Harriet Elizabeth Abrams)American actress, pronounced it "eye,ree,nee"
  • Irene Ryan (born Jessie Irene Noblett)American actress
  • Irene AngelinaQueen consort of Sicily and Germany
  • Irene MathyssenCanadian MP
  • Irene MorganAmerican civil rights activist
  • Emily Irene VanCampCanadian actress
  • (Sze) Irene NgMalaysian,born American actress

Irene in Pop Culture

  • Irene Adlercharacter in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series
  • Irene Heron (pr. Eyeree,nee), character in John Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga
  • Irene Cassinicharacter in movie "Gattaca"
  • Irene Lorenzocharacter on TV's "All in the Family"
  • Princess Irenecharacter in "The Princess and the Goblin" by George MacDonald (pronounced eye,ree,nee in its 1991 film adaptation)
  • Irene Laphamcharacter in "The Rise of Silas Lapham" by William Dean Howells
  • IreneQueen of Attolia, character in The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
  • Irene Denholmcharacter in the Harry Potter series
  • Irene Frederickcharacter on TV's "Warehouse 13"
  • Irene the Conciergecharacter on TV's "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody"
  • Lady Irenecharacter in Aphmau's YouTube series
  • "Irene" 1940s movie
  • Goodnight IreneAmerican folk song
  • Hurricane Irene (2012)
  • Irenemain character in The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman
  • Irene Larra Giróncharacter on tv series "El Ministerio del Tiempo"
  • Irene P. Waterscharacter in the 2000 Jim Carrey movie "Me,Myself & Irene"