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Gender: Female Meaning of Irene: "peace" Origin of Irene: Greek Irene's Popularity in 2017: #594

The name Irene is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "peace". Irene is ranked #594 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Mythology Baby Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "Names on NB that make you go WOW!".

From the experts:

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.

Find other names based on Irene using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Irene

Irene Marie Dunne, American actress
Irene Bordoni, Corsican French singer
Irene Cara (Escalera), American singer
Irene Castle, American ballroom dancer
Irene Joliot-Curie, French scientist, daughter of Marie Curie
Irene Urdangaria­n y Bourbon, daughter of Infanta Cristina of Spain
Irene (Lentz), American costume designer
Irene Vanbrugh, English actress
Irene Vernon, American actress
Irene Frances Rich, American actress
Irene of Athens, Byzantine Empress
Irene Papas, Greek actress
Irene Handl, English actress
Irene Worth (born Harriet Elizabeth Abrams), American actress, pronounced it "eye-ree-nee"
Irene Ryan (born Jessie Irene Noblett), American actress
Irene Angelina, Queen consort of Sicily and Germany
Irene Mathyssen, Canadian MP
Irene Morgan, American civil rights activist
Emily Irene VanCamp, Canadian actress
Irene, stage name of Bae Joohyun; rapper, dancer, singer, and leader of South Korean girl group Red Velvet
(Sze) Irene Ng, Malaysian-born American actress

Pop Culture References for the name Irene

Irene Adler, character in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series
Irene Heron (pr. Eye-ree-nee), character in John Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga
Irene Cassini, character in movie "Gattaca"
Irene Lorenzo, character on TV's "All in the Family"
Princess Irene, character in "The Princess and the Goblin" by George MacDonald (pronounced eye-ree-nee in its 1991 film adaptation)
Irene Lapham, character in "The Rise of Silas Lapham" by William Dean Howells
Irene, Queen of Attolia, character in The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
Irene Denholm, character in the Harry Potter series
Irene Frederick, character on TV's "Warehouse 13"
Irene the Concierge, character on TV's "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody"
Lady Irene, character in Aphmau's YouTube series
"Irene," 1940s movie
Goodnight Irene, American folk song
Hurricane Irene (2012)
Irene, main character in The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman
Irene Larra Girón, character on tv series "El Ministerio del Tiempo"

Irene's International Variations

Iren, Irenke (Hungarian) Yaryna, Ira, Irisha, Jereni, Irya, Irena, Arina, Rina, Arinka, Yarina, Irina, Iryna, Irini (Russian) Eirini, Ereni, Rena, Eirene, Nitsa (Greek) Irka, Irenka (Czech) Eireen (Irish) Irenea (Spanish)


VanessaLily7 Says:


I like this name but prefer ai-ree-nee as its pronunciation

mamanmia Says:


makes me think of Irena Sendler, a great namesake

lesliemarion Says:


I've recently come to love this name. I like what headintheclouds said about it earlier. It manages to be both a low drama name and yet a strong, classic beauty.

BBear Says:


nobody has to know...

morning_glory Says:


I prefer Eirene, which seems sweeter and more . . . child-like, perhaps? Though I do like Irene, despite the fact that it always makes me think of female Russian agents!

Wittyusername103 Says:


I love this name a lot.

r_and_om_n_ess Says:


Is it bad to name a child Irene because of Minecraft Diaries?

Yippy4Skippy Says:


My daughter's name. She was named after my grandmother. It's strong but feminine, classy and smart. I admit I'm biased though. ;)

headintheclouds Says:


I think of serene in relation to Irene, which rather suits its meaning of peace too. Also has a queenly regal vibe, and a touch of old Hollywood glamor as well. Irene's lovely- has a quiet and steadfast strength and dignity as its charm. You get the feeling that an Irene would be gentle-seeming but have a spine of steel, and be the ultimate boss when it comes to tough situations.

Jinxgirl Says:


Irene is a strong, serious name, a good choice for a middle name. It can be lightened up by calling a child Irie or Rena.

Daiseymae Says:


I like this name, and it reminds me of film great actress Irene Dunne.

scblovesnames Says:


Mother in laws middle name and a consideration for the middle name spot for a future daughter.

LcLauver Says:


In the U.S. and most english speaking countries it's pronounce eye-reen but I know in Portuguese, & maybe in Greek as well, it's pronounced E-Rain-E ...i'm sure there are more since it is an old name.

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


This name was considered for me, but my parents picked something different.

Ruanne Says:


Don't forget the Sherlock Holmes reference, the character Irene Adler from "A Scandal in Bohemia." She was the one woman who outwitted the great detective, for which she had his (very bregudging) respect.

AnonymousPerson Says:


Is this pronounced "eye-reen" or "ih-ray-na"?