Alexander Name Meaning

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What Does Alexander Mean?

If you’re in search of a powerful name for your baby, Alexander is a strong choice to consider. 

Alexander is the Latin variant of the Greek name Alexandros, meaning "defender of men." The name is most famously associated with Alexander the Great, 4th-century BCE king of Macedonia in Greece, and one of history's most powerful military commanders.

The name Alexander is also found throughout the New Testament, and there are dozens of Christian saints who bear the name.

  • Origin: The name Alexander is the Latin form of the Greek name Alexandros. Its meaning is derived from the components alexo (I defend) and aner (man).
  • Gender: Alexander is frequently used as a boy name. The feminine alternative, Alexandra, is commonly used for girls.
  • Pronunciation: ah-lex-zan-der

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular Is the Name Alexander?

Alexander has been one of the top 250 names in the U.S. since 1900. In 1977, it broke into the top 100. The name steadily increased in popularity until 2009, when it ranked 4, the most popular year for baby Alexanders. It remained in the top 10 from 2008 to 2015.

In 2020, the Social Security Administration declared Alexander to be the 10th most popular boy name in America.

Name Variations

  • Aleksander (Czech, Polish)
  • Alexandre (French, Hungarian)
  • Alexandros (Greek)
  • Alsander (Irish)
  • Alessandro (Italian)
  • Aleksandr (Russian)
  • Alessandro (Italian)
  • Alasdair (Gaelic)
  • Alejandro (Spanish)
  • Alastair (Scottish)
  • Alexei (Russian)

Similar Names

Other Greek baby boy names:

  • Deacon
  • Elias
  • Demitri
  • Nico
  • Cole
  • Damian
  • Adonis
  • Milos
  • Darius
  • Dion
  • Eugene
  • Topher
  • Xander
  • Galen
  • Nikolas
  • Theodore
  • Lex

Other boy names starting with A:

  • Adam
  • Aidan
  • Asher
  • Axel
  • Anderson
  • Austin
  • Atlas
  • Arian
  • Arlo
  • Aaron
  • August
  • Andrew
  • Anthony
  • Abel
  • Antonio
  • Arthur

Other popular names for those who like Alexander:

  • Liam
  • Noah
  • Ethan
  • Lucas
  • Oliver
  • Logan
  • Gabriel
  • Mason
  • James
  • Sebastian
  • Theodore

Common Nicknames

Common nicknames for Alexander include:

  • Alex: By far the most common nickname, Alex is a fun option used frequently for both boys and girls. It suggests someone creative, artistic, ambitious, and always willing to put others first.
  • Al: If you're a fan of short nicknames, Al is the perfect, gender-neutral nickname for someone loyal, generous, and friendly.
  • Xander: Outgoing and fun, those named Xander exude charm and optimism. They're always the life of the party! The name's popularity originated with one of the main characters on the ever-popular TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Suggested Sibling Names

  • Zachary
  • Benjamin
  • Christopher
  • Andrew
  • Abigail
  • Anthony
  • Isabella
  • Victoria
  • Gabriel
  • Grace
  • Madison
  • Alyssa
  • Matthew
  • Olivia

Famous People Named Alexander

Included in the list of the most iconic Alexanders is Alexander Hamilton, who was one of America's most influential Founding Fathers. In 2015, the Broadway debut of the play Hamilton was praised by critics and fans alike, putting the name Alexander back in the spotlight.

Famous Alexanders:

  • Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-born American inventor credited with inventing the first working telephone
  • Alexander Skarsgård, Swedish actor known for his roles in the American TV shows True Blood and Big Little Lies
  • Alexander McQueen, British fashion designer and former chief designer for Givenchy who founded his own label 1992
  • Alexander Ovechkin, Russian professional hockey player and captain of the NHL's Washington Capitals, also known as "Ovi"

Famous Alexes

  • Alex Trebek, American TV host of the show Jeopardy!
  • Alex Rodriguez, former American MLB baseball player, also known as "A-rod "
  • Alex Van Halen, Dutch-American musician, drummer, and co-founder of the rock band Van Halen

Famous Als

  • Al Pacino, American actor and director, most famously known for the movies Scarface and The Godfather series
  • Al Roker, American weather forecaster, journalist, and TV personality
  • Al Gore, American politician who served as the 45th Vice President of the United States
  • Al Green, American singer, songwriter, and record producer who earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options: 

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popular Baby Names.

By Alex Vance
Alex Vance is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from pregnancy and parenting to health and wellness. She is a former news and features writer for and Blog Writer for The HOTH. Her motherhood-related pieces have been published on Scary Mommy, Motherhood Understood, and Thought Catalog.