For other uses, see Michael (disambiguation).


Pronunciation /ˈmkəl/
German: [ˈmɪçaːʔeːl]
Gender Male
Word/name Hebrew: מִיכָאֵל / מיכאל (Mikha'el)
Meaning "Who is like God?"[1]
Other names
Nickname(s) Mike, Mick, Mikey, Mickey, Mickie, Micha, Mikki, Micki, Mitt, Miki, Miko, Mic
Related names Michel, Michaela, Michelle, Michele, Mickie, Miguel, Mihalis, Mike, Mikey, Mikhail or Mihail (Михаил), Mykhaylenko, Mihai, Misha, Mitch, Mitchell

Michael /ˈmkəl/ is a male given name that comes from Hebrew: מִיכָאֵל / מיכאל (Mīkhāʼēl, pronounced [miχaˈʔel]), derived from the question מי כאל mī kāʼēl, meaning "Who is like God?".[1] In English, it is sometimes shortened to Mike, Mikey, Mickey, Micha, or Mick.

Female forms of Michael include Michelle, Michele, Michaela, Mechelle, Micheline, and Michaelle, although Michael is occasionally seen as a female name; women named Michael include actresses Michael Learned and Michael Michele. Another form is Mychal, which can either be a male or female name.

Patronymic surnames that come from Michael include Michaels, Carmichael, MacMichael, McMichael, Micallef, Michaelson, Mikkelsen, DiMichele, Mikhaylov, Mykhaylenko, Mikeladze, Michels, and Mitchell.


The name first appears in the Hebrew Bible in the Book of Numbers, 13:13 where Sethur the son of Michael is one of 12 spies sent into the Land of Canaan.

The archangel Michael features in the Book of Daniel 12:1, and in the Quran as Mikaeel. He is considered a saint by the Catholic Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. For the Roman Catholic Church, 29 September is the feast day of the three archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. For the Eastern Orthodox Church, 8 November is the day of archangels Michael and Gabriel, and of the rest of the angels.


Michael (and its variants) is one of the most common given names for males in the world. In the United States, Michael was the most popular name of the 20th century, ranking No. 1 from 1954 to 1998 (with the exception of 1960, when it was second to David). It was among the top three most popular names for each year since 1953, only falling out of the top five in 2011 for the first time since 1949.[2]

In 2014, Michael was the 20th most popular name in Northern Ireland,[3] 27th in Canada[4] and 42nd in Australia.[5] In England and Wales, Michael ranked 53rd in 2011 and 2012.[6] Mícheál ranked as the eighth most popular boy's name in Ireland in 2013.[7]

Variants of Michael rank among the most popular boy's name in multiple countries. It was the third most popular in Finland from 2010-March 2015 (as Mikael),[8] seventh in Russia in 2009 (as Mikhail),[9] 14th in Spain in 2012 (as Miguel),[10] and 15th in Denmark (as Mikkel).[11]

In 2005, the double-worded "John Michael" was the ninth most popular boys name in the Philippines.[12]

See also


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