Melissa Name Meaning

smiling baby girl in white

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The name Melissa derives from the Greek word mélissa, meaning "bee," which was taken from the word meli, meaning "honey." It is, therefore, no surprise to learn that the name Melissa means "honeybee."

Parents (and some grandparents) may associate the name Melissa with their own childhoods; it was a top name back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. But the name itself is timeless and where it's not as popular as the name Emily, the name Melissa carries a similar, wholesome vibe. This may be why Melissa continues to be chosen by parents seeking a sweet, classic name for their baby.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Melissa means "honeybee."
  • Gender: The name Melissa is commonly given as a girl's name
  • Pronunciation: Mel-ih-sah

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 Melissa?

The name Melissa has been a top 1000 name since it arrived on the charts in the early 1900s. In 1967, Melissa reached the top 10, at 9th position, and stayed there until 1984. Melissa's peak years for popularity were from 1977 to 1979 when it reached and maintained 2nd place.

After 1984, Melissa dropped into the top 100s where it remained until 2004. Since then, the name Melissa has continued to decline in popularity and is currently sitting at 348th.

Name Variations

There are some variations of the name Melissa, including:

  • Malissa (Greek)
  • Melisa (Greek)
  • Melessa (Greek)
  • Mélisse (French)
  • Meliza (Greek)
  • Mellisa (Greek)
  • Melosa (Spanish)

Similar Names

Here are some names with a similar vibe to Melissa:

  • Alyssa
  • Amanda
  • Andrea
  • Angela
  • Catherine
  • Christine
  • Elizabeth
  • Emily
  • Jennifer
  • Kelly
  • Kristen
  • Leanne
  • Lesley
  • Michelle
  • Nicole
  • Sarah
  • Stephanie
  • Tara

Other Greek names to consider:

  • Angelina
  • Casandra
  • Daphne
  • Demi
  • Iris
  • Penelope
  • Phoebe
  • Khloe
  • Lydia
  • Lyra
  • Lois
  • Mya
  • Sophia
  • Thalia
  • Thea
  • Zoe

Other names that start with M:

  • Mae
  • Maeve
  • Maggie
  • Mallory
  • Marla
  • Marlene
  • Maryam
  • Marianne
  • Megan
  • Melanie
  • Melina
  • Monica
  • Monique
  • Mischa
  • Mila
  • Myla

Common Nicknames

Common nicknames for Melissa include:

  • Lis
  • Lisa
  • Lissa
  • Mel
  • Mellie
  • Melis
  • Missy

Suggested Sibling Names

Potential sibling names for Melissa could be: 

  • Abe
  • Aiden
  • Annie
  • Beatrix
  • Corben
  • Danny
  • Dot
  • Elias
  • Faye
  • Felix
  • Georgia
  • Hannah
  • Katie
  • Krista
  • Kyle
  • Zack

Famous People Named Melissa

Here’s a list of famous people who are also named Melissa:

  • Melissa Altro, a Canadian voiceover artist
  • Melissa Benoist, an American actress, singer, dancer, and activist
  • Melissa Etheridge, an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist
  • Melissa Fumero, an American actress
  • Melissa Gilbert, an American actress and television director
  • Melissa Hough, an American ballet dancer
  • Melissa Joan Hart, an American actress
  • Melissa Mantak, an American triathlete and triathlon coach
  • Melissa Marquez, an American scientist specializing in sharks
  • Melissa McBride, an American actress
  • Melissa McCarthy, an American actress, comedian, writer, producer, and fashion designer
  • Melissa Villasenor, an American actress, comedian, and singer

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

2 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. Get Ready for Baby: Popularity of a Name. Updated 2020.

By Shannon Day
Shannon Day is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, lifestyle, and women's humor. She has been published in several online parenting and lifestyle sites as well as in print. Shannon is also the co-author of Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!