Leah Name Meaning

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Leah is a biblical name of Hebrew origin that means delicate or weary. 

In the Bible, Leah is the daughter of Laban and the sister of Rachel. She was married to the biblical patriarch Jacob, but he favored her sister instead. Leah loved Jacob though, and since she was unable to conceive, she prayed about her situation. God had compassion on her and allowed her to become pregnant.

  • Origin: The name Leah comes from the Hebrew word la’ah, which means weary. It is found in the Old Testament of the Bible, notably in the book of Genesis. 
  • Gender: Leah is most commonly used as a girl name.
  • Pronunciation: L-EE-uh or L-AY-uh

Although 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 Leah?

Leah first appears in the Social Security Administration top 1,000 list of names for baby girls as No. 252 in 1900. It has remained on the list for the last 120 years without ever dropping off. The lowest the name has been ranked was as No. 431 in 1946.

After that, the name Leah has steadily gotten more popular, rising about 100 spots every decade. The name peaked in 2010 as No. 24. Although an enduring and classic name, its upward trajectory is likely over. Since Leah's peak, it has dropped somewhat in popularity and continues to do so with each passing year. The latest data from 2020 shows it ranked as No. 45.

The fictional Princess Leia from the “Star Wars” movie franchise, which first came out in the late 1970s, no doubt brought attention to it as a given name. 

Name Variations

As it is a biblical name, Leah has an equivalent in many languages. The following are variations of the name Leah: 

  • Lea (Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, German, Norwegian, Slovene, Swedish, Polish)
  • Léa (French)
  • Leia (Greek)
  • Lėja (Lithuanian)
  • Lia (Italian, Portuguese, Romanian)
  • Liia (Estonian)
  • Lija (Latvian)

Similar Names

Similar sounding names to Leah:

  • Layla
  • Leanne
  • Lila
  • Lily
  • Lina
  • Lola
  • Lydia
  • Mia

Other biblical names:

  • Abigail
  • Dinah
  • Hannah
  • Mary
  • Naomi
  • Priscilla
  • Rachel
  • Rebecca
  • Sarah 

Other names that start with L:

  • Lacey
  • Laura
  • Lauren
  • Leilani
  • Leslie
  • Leticia 
  • Lexi
  • Liliana
  • Lillian
  • Logan
  • London
  • Lorelai
  • Louisa
  • Lucille
  • Luna

Suggested Sibling Names

Looking for a sibling name for Leah? Here are some popular options:

  • Alexander
  • Alyssa
  • Amanda
  • Andrew
  • Caleb
  • Daniel
  • Evelyn
  • Gloria
  • Liam
  • Nathan
  • Samuel
  • Sofia
  • Zoe

Famous People Named Leah

Leah has been an enduring name over the last century in the United States, with roots that reach back to biblical times. There is even a statue named Leah created by Michelangelo, considered one of the most brilliant artists of the Italian Renaissance.

Michelangelo produced the Leah statue along with the statue of Rachel in 1542-1545 to adorn the tomb of Julius II. The Leah statue is built entirely from marble and likely to have symbolized the power of work in leading a worthy life.

Famous Leahs:

  • LEAH, a Canadian heavy metal musician
  • Leah Chase, an American chef, author, and television personality
  • Leah McSweeney, an American fashion designer and television personality
  • Leah Remini, an American actress
  • Lea Salonga, a Tony Award-winning Filipina singer and actress
  • Lea Thompson, an American actress

Fictional Leahs:

  • Queen Leah, the mother of Princess Aurora in Disney’s 1950 animated film “Sleeping Beauty”
  • Leia Organa (Princess Leia), considered one of the galaxy’s great heroes in the "Star Wars" saga who devoted her life to the restoration of democracy
  • Leah Brahms, scientist of the 24th century United Federation of Planets considered a leader in warp field therapy in the TV series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”
  • Leah Shaw, main character and survivor of an apocalyptic outbreak in popular TV series “The Walking Dead”
  • Leah Burke, best friend of the main protagonist in the novels “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” and the movie “Love, Simon”

More Baby Names

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

3 Sources
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. Hanks P, Hardcastle K, Hodges F. A Dictionary of First Names. Oxford University Press; 2016.

  2. Social Security Administration. Popularity of Name.

  3. Wallace WE. Michelangelo, God’s Architect : The Story of His Final Years and Greatest Masterpiece. Princeton University Press; 2019.

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).