maya name meaning

Maya Name: Origin, Hebrew, Biblical & Spiritual Meaning

Maya Overview

  • Meaning: illusion, dream, or water
  • Gender: female
  • Origin: Sanskrit, Greek, Hebrew, and Spanish
  • Pronunciation: MY-ah or MAY-ah
  • Popularity: Ranked #51 in the US in 2021 – popular
  • In Hebrew letters: מַיָּה | מַיָּה
  • Biblical verse: None
  • Spiritual meaning: connection to water, symbolizing rebirth, and renewal
  • Nicknames: May, Mai, Yaya, Mimi
  • Variations: Maia, Mya, Meyah, Maja

Keep reading to learn more about Maya name meaning in Hebrew and biblically, be it for your baby or as an adult learning about your name.

Maya Name Meaning, Origin & Popularity

The name Maya has different meanings and origins depending on the culture and language, including Sanskrit, Greek, Hebrew, and Spanish.

In Sanskrit, the name means “illusion” or “dream,” while in Greek, where the name is a variant of Maia, a Greek goddess of spring and growth, it means “great” or “mother.”

In Hebrew, the name Maya means “water,” which is a symbol of life and rebirth. In Spanish, it means “mine” or “beloved.”

In other cultures and languages like Japanese, the name Maya means “true,” “real,” or “genuine.” In Arabic, the name Maya means “princess,” “generous,” or “kind-hearted.”

The popularity of the name has grown steadily over the years and continues to climb the female name chart in the United States. It has been in the top 1000 most popular names in the US since the 1980s, and since 2002 in top 100, ranking its most popular spot on 55 in 2021

popularity of name maya
{source: Social Security Administration}

Maya Name Pronunciation

Maya is pronounced MY-ah or MAY-ah, depending on the region or preference. The first syllable may be emphasized, depending on the accent.

The MY-ah pronunciation is more common in the United States, while the MAY-ah pronunciation is more prevalent in other parts of the world.

Maya Name Meaning Hebrew

Names are an integral part of our identity and often reflect our cultural heritage and values. Understanding the meanings of names can provide insight into the culture and language from which they originate. In this section, we will explore the meaning of “Maya” in Hebrew and its cultural significance.

In Hebrew culture, names hold significant meaning and are often chosen based on their symbolic significance. For example, the name “David” means “beloved,” while “Sarah” means “princess.”

Maya in Hebrew is spelled מַיָּה and means “water” or “illusion” and is often associated with the concept of spring, representing new beginnings and renewals. In Hebrew tradition, springs are believed to have healing powers, which may be why the name Maya is associated with healing and renewal. Water, as well, holds a significant meaning to life. Water is essential for life and symbolizes purity.

On the other hand, illusion is the idea of creating one’s own reality or living in a world of one’s own making. This can also be seen as a reminder that reality is often not what it seems and that we should question our perceptions of the world around us.

Beyond this, Maya has other variations in Hebrew, and with their own unique meanings. “Mayan” means “fountain,” “Mayana” means “spring,” and “Mayim” means “water.”

Meaning of Maya in the Bible

While the name Maya is not mentioned in the Bible, the concept of water and its symbolism is prominent in the Hebrew Bible.

In the book of Genesis (Genesis 1:2: And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters), water is associated with the creation of the world and is also a symbol of God’s power and authority.

In the New Testament (John 4:14), water is a symbol of baptism and spiritual rebirth (John 4:14: 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life).

What does the name Maya mean Spiritually

The spiritual meaning of the name Maya is linked to its Hebrew meaning and the concept of water and illusion. The name may be interpreted as a symbol of life, renewal, and healing in association with water, which is often seen as a symbol of purification, rebirth, and spiritual nourishment. Therefore, Maya name may be seen as a reminder to seek spiritual renewal and cultivate a life-giving spirit.

Nicknames for Maya

Some nickname options for Maya include:

  • May,
  • Mai,
  • Yaya,
  • Mimi

Maya Name Variations

Some name variations for Maya include:

  • Maia,
  • Mya,
  • Meyah,
  • Maja

Other variations of Hebrew origin include:

  • Mayan, which means fountain,
  • Mayana means spring, and
  • Mayim meaning water.

Middle Name for Maya

If you’re considering naming your baby girl Maya, you may also be thinking about middle names. Many different middle names would pair well with Maya, depending on your preferences and the overall sound and flow of the name. Some suggestions include the following:

  • Maya Aria
  • Maya Luna
  • Maya Nova
  • Maya Charlotte: Charlotte is a classic name of French origin meaning “free man” or “petite.”
  • Maya Eloise: Eloise is a French name meaning “healthy” or “wide.”
  • Maya Francesca: Francesca is an Italian name meaning “free” and “woman.”
  • Maya Isadora: Isadora is a Greek name meaning “gift of Isis” or “gift of the goddess.”
  • Maya Juliette: Juliette is a French name meaning “youthful” or “downy.”
  • Maya Lorraine: Lorraine is a French name that means “famous in battle.”

Sibling Names for Maya

If you already have children and are considering naming your new baby girl Maya, you may also be thinking about sibling names that would pair well with Maya. There are many different names that would work well with Maya, depending on your personal preferences and the overall style and feel of your family’s names.

  • For a brother: Ethan, Liam, Noah, Alexander, Benjamin, Caleb
  • For a sister: Ava, Sophia, Isabella, Mia, Emma, Ella

Famous People with the Name Maya

You bear the name Maya, or you are considering the name for your newborn and looking for famous people who bear Maya, here is a curated list of some famous people with the name Maya:

Maya Angelou – an American author, poet, and civil rights activist. Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson but changed her name to Maya Angelou after marrying Tosh Angelos. She is best known for her autobiographical work, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which tells the story of her childhood in the American South.

Maya Rudolph – an American actress and comedian best known for her work on Saturday Night Live and her roles in movies like Bridesmaids, The Good Place, and The Way Way Back.

Maya Jama – a British television and radio presenter. She has hosted several popular programs and is known for her work as a presenter on BBC Radio 1.

Maya Lin – an American artist and architect best known for designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.

Maya Moore – an American professional basketball player who is a four-time WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist. She is considered one of the best women’s basketball players of all time.

Maya Wiley – an American civil rights attorney and political commentator.

Maya Jama – a British TV and radio personality who is best known for hosting “The Circle” and “Save Our Summer.”

Maya Soetoro-Ng – American educator and half-sister of former President Barack Obama. Soetoro-Ng is a former high school history teacher and is a consultant for the Obama Foundation. She is also the author of the children’s book “Ladder to the Moon.”

Maya DiRado – American former swimmer and Olympic gold medalist.

Maya Erskine – American actress and writer.

Maya Hawke – an American actress and model best known for her role in the television series “Stranger Things.”

Maya Meaning in other Cultures and Languages

Maya is a name that has a rich history and meaning in many cultures and languages around the world. Here are some examples:

Maya Name Meaning in Greek

In Greek, Maya means “great” or “mother.” In Greek mythology, Maia is the name of the goddess of spring and growth, who was the mother of Hermes. As such, the name has come to be associated with growth, fertility, and rebirth.

Maya Name Meaning in Italian

In Italian, Maya means “mine” or “belonging to me.” It can also be a shortened form of the name Maria, which means “bitterness” or “beloved.”

Maya Name Meaning in Latin

In Latin, Maya means “illusion” or “enchantment.” The name is believed to have originated from the Roman goddess Maia, who was associated with springtime and fertility.

Maya Name Meaning Spanish

In Spanish, the name Maya means “mine” or “my beloved.”

Maya Name Meaning Irish

In Irish, Maya means “great” or “honorable.” It is a popular name in Ireland and is often associated with strength, courage, and leadership.


Is Maya a rare name?

No, Maya is not a rare name. It has been a popular name for girls for many years and continues to be so. According to the Social Security Administration, it ranked #55 in popularity in the United States in 2021.

What is a longer name for Maya?

Maya is already a short and sweet name, but some parents use longer names as formal names and then use Maya as a nickname. Some options for longer names include Amaya, Mayara, Maybelline, and Maylene.

Is Maya a Bible name?

While Maya is not mentioned in the Bible, it is a name that has biblical roots and spiritual significance. It is associated with the concept of water, often used as a symbol of life, purity, and renewal in the Bible.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the meaning of the name “Maya” in Hebrew reflects the cultural values and beliefs of the Hebrew people. The name has a deep and complex history, with meanings that have evolved. It is a name that carries both spiritual and cultural significance, and its popularity has continued to rise in recent years.

Whether you are considering this name for your child or simply interested in its meaning, there is no denying that Maya is a name that holds power and depth.

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