Ava Name Meaning

black baby girl with a bow in her hair.

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The name Ava has several possible meanings since its origins are unclear. Its roots could be from the Germanic word aval, meaning "guarantee." In Latin, avis means "bird, birdlike."

The name Ava might also be another version of Eve or Eva, which comes from the Hebrew name Havva (from the word hayya) meaning "life, lively."

Yet another possible meaning is "voice, sound" which comes from the Persian language.

  • Origin: Ava is of unclear origins but several possibilities include German, Latin, Persian, and Hebrew. The name is known to mean "birdlike, lively."
  • Gender: Ava is most frequently used as girl name.
  • Pronunciation: eh-VAH

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 Ava?

The name Ava was not particularly popular during most of this century until very recently. Although it always held a place in the top 1,000 names according to the Social Security Administration 2020 data, it barely hung on to the list during certain years.

Ava enjoyed a small bump in popularity in the early 1950s, likely due to the movie star Ava Gardner who was a leading lady at the time. After that it steadily decreased in popularity until its lowest recorded ranking of No. 991 in 1989.

Subsequently, it started increasing in popularity again, jumping over 300 spots between 1997 and 1998. This is likely attributed to two well-known celebrities, Heather Locklear and Reese Witherspoon, naming their own daughters Ava in 1997 and 1999, respectively.

From there, it experienced a meteoric rise to popularity, leapfrogging to its best ranking as the third most popular name in 2016 for baby girls born in the United States. It is currently still ranked No. 3 for baby girl names in 2020.

Name Variations

Some name variations for Ava include a spelling variation and the related name origins:

  • Avah
  • Eve
  • Eva
  • Avis

Similar Names

Other names that also begin with the letter "A" and end in a vowel include:

Suggested Sibling Names

Names that can pair well with Ava include:

  • Adam
  • Aiden
  • Anthony
  • Audrey
  • Oliver
  • Ella
  • Jake
  • Emma
  • Olivia

Famous People Named Ava

The earliest notable Ava was likely Princess Ava, daughter of Pepin II, King of Aquitane (a region in France). She was cured of blindness by Saint Rainfredis. After that, she became a Benedictine nun. Saint Ava served in Belgium and died in 845 AD as an abbess, the highest rank a woman could hold within the Catholic religious hierarchy at that time.

Famous Avas:

  • Ava Marie DuVernay, American film director
  • Ava Lowle Willing, American socialite and the first wife of John Jacob Astor IV
  • Ava Alice Muriel Astor, American socialite and the daughter of John Jacob Astor IV and Ava Lowle Willing
  • Ava Lavinia Gardner, American actress and singer
  • Ava Astaire McKenzie, daughter of actor and dancer Fred Astaire

Fictional Avas:

  • Ava Jerome, character on American soap opera General Hospital
  • Ava Benton, character on American soap opera All My Children
  • Ava Peralta, character on American soap opera Guiding Light
  • Ava Lord, character in in the Sin City series
  • Ava Gregory, main character on television series Summerland
  • Ava Hartman, character on British soap opera EastEnders
  • Ava Ayala aka White Tiger, character in Marvel comics
  • Ava, humanoid robot in the film Ex Machina
  • Ava Morgenstern, character on television series Girl Meets World
  • Ava Wilson, character in Supernatural season 2

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. Popularity of Ava.

By Vicky Yip
Vicky is a freelance writer specializing on topics relating to prenatal care, motherhood, parenting, family, and home life. She is also a Senior Contributor for HoustonMoms (City Mom Collective).