Sebastian Name Meaning

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What Does Sebastian Mean?

Sebastian means “venerable” or "revered" in Latin, and comes from the Latin word “Sebastianus,” which was used to refer to a person from Sebaste, the name of a town in Asia Minor that is now the city of Sivas in Turkey). 

The name is well-known, largely thanks to Saint Sebastian: an early Christian saint who was martyred by the Roman emperor Diocletian. Saint Sebastian remains a favorite saint within the Catholic church, serving as the patron saint of archers, athletes, and those who desire a saintly death.

  • Origin: Sebastian is a Greek name meaning “venerable.” 
  • Gender: Sebastian is traditionally used as a boy's name. In French and Italian, there are feminized versions (Sébastienne and Sebastiana, respectively). 
  • Pronunciation: seh-BASH-tee-uhn 

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 Sebastian?

The name Sebastian has become especially popular over the past several years, jumping into the top 50 in the U.S. in 2013, according to the Social Security Administration. It’s been mostly on the rise since, reaching as high as No. 18 in both 2018 and 2019, and currently sitting at No. 19, cementing its position as a modern but not-too-trendy choice for parents. 

The name was somewhat popular from the 1910s through he 1930s, before losing favor and falling completely out of the top 1,000 in 1950. But it began making a comeback more recently when well-known celebs, like James Spader and Tommy Hilfiger, chose the name for their sons, and also was the name of the lead character played by actor Ryan Gosling in the 2016 movie musical "La La Land," as well as the crab in Disney's "The Little Mermaid."

Name Variations 

The following names are variations on Sebastian:

  • Bastian (Bastian)
  • Sebastián (Spanish)
  • Sebastiani (Swahili)
  • Sebastiano (Italian)
  • Sebastianos (Greek)
  • Sebastião (Portuguese)

Similar Names 

Other Greek boy names include:

  • Adrian
  • Alexander
  • Christos
  • Demetrius
  • Hero
  • Nicholas
  • Stavros
  • Xander

Other boy names starting with S:

  • Samuel
  • Sawyer
  • Sean
  • Silas
  • Simon
  • Soren
  • Spencer
  • Stephen
  • Steven

Common Nicknames

There are only a couple of nicknames for Sebastian, but they make the name even more likeable: 

  • Seb
  • Sebby/Sebbie
  • Baz
  • Bash

Suggested Sibling Names

Need ideas for what to call Sebastian’s siblings? Here are some suggestions:

  • Adelaide
  • Callista
  • Daniel
  • Eloise
  • Felix
  • Harper
  • Hugo
  • Michael
  • Oliver
  • Scarlett
  • Theodore
  • Xavier

Famous People Named Sebastian

Sebastian may seem like a unique moniker, but there are actually quite a few people (past, present, and fictional) who carry this strong and stalwart name. From a singer and comedian, to an animated crab and the Winter Soldier himself, here are some famous Sebastians.

Famous Sebastians:

  • Saint Sebastian, martyred Christian saint
  • Sebastian Bach, former member of Canadian heavy metal band Skid Row
  • Sebastian Coe, British politician and former athlete
  • Sebastian Maniscalco, stand-up comedian
  • Sebastian Stan, actor best known for playing Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier in the Marvel catalogue of films and TV shows
  • Sebastian Vettel, German race car driver

Fictional Sebastians:

  • Lord Sebastian Flyte, a character in Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead Revisited”
  • Sebastian, a character in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”
  • Sebastian, a character in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”
  • Sebastian the crab, Ariel’s fictional crustacean BFF in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”
  • Sebastian Valmont, Ryan Phillippe’s bad boy character 1999’s “Cruel Intentions”

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 name.

By Sarah Bradley
Sarah Bradley has been writing parenting content since 2017, after her third son was born. Since then, she has expanded her expertise to write about pregnancy and postpartum, childhood ages and stages, and general health conditions, including commerce articles for health products. Because she has been homeschooling her sons for seven years, she is also frequently asked to share homeschooling tips, tricks, and advice for parenting sites.