Lee

First Name
293k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
693k
in the U.S.
in 2010
Girls
Boys
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Lee mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Lee

"Lee" is a name of English origin, and it means "Field". It's a name commonly given to both boys and girls.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
verb Lee
To lie; to speak falsely.
noun Lee
That which settles at the bottom, as of a cask of liquor (esp. wine); sediment; dregs; -- used now only in the plural.

Etymology: F. lie, perh. fr. L. levare to lift up, raise. Cf. Lever

noun Lee
Senses
  1. A sheltered place; esp., a place protected from the wind by some object; the side sheltered from the wind; shelter; protection; as, the lee of a mountain, an island, or a ship."We lurked under lee." [Morte d'Arthure.]"Desiring me to take shelter in his lee." [Tyndall.]
  2. [Naut] That part of the hemisphere, as one stands on shipboard, toward which the wind blows. See Lee (a.)

Etymology: OE. lee shelter, Icel. hlē, akin to AS. hleó hleów, shelter, protection, OS. hlèo, D. lij lee, Sw. , Dan.

adjective Lee
Of or pertaining to the part or side opposite to that against which the wind blows; -- opposed to weather; as, the lee side or lee rail of a vessel.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. The side of something that is sheltered from the wind
  2. American general who led the Confederate Armies in the American Civil War (1807-1870)
  3. Soldier of the American Revolution (1756-1818)
  4. Leader of the American Revolution who proposed the resolution calling for independence of the American Colonies (1732-1794)
  5. United States physicist (born in China) who collaborated with Yang Chen Ning in disproving the principle of conservation of parity (born in 1926)
  6. United States actor who was an expert in kung fu and starred in martial arts films (1941-1973)
  7. United States striptease artist who became famous on Broadway in the 1930s (1914-1970)
  8. United States filmmaker whose works explore the richness of black culture in America (born in 1957)
  9. Towards the side away from the wind
Wiktionary
  1. An English topographic surname​ for someone who lived near a meadow (the Anglo-Saxon for meadow being ley or leag).
  2. A surname​ of Chinese origin, a variant of Li, a transcription of 李 () and other less common names such as 黎 () and 理 ()
  3. A surname​ of Korean origin, a variant of Rhee (Hanja: 李; Hangul: 이 & 리)
  4. A male given name derived from the surname, or a nickname for names such as Leo and Leroy
  5. A female given name popular in conjoined names such as Lee Ann or Mary Lee.
  6. Any of various place names, including a river in England, a suburb of London, and a river in Co. Cork, Ireland.

Lee was also found in the following language(s): German, Hungarian, and Luxembourgish

Notable Persons Named Lee

Lee Joon-gi is an actor, singer, and dancer. He was most active from 2001 to present. Lee was born on April 17th, 1982 in Busan.

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Lee was born on October 18th, 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S. He died on November 24th, 1963.

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Lee Jong-suk is an actor, model (people), and model. His ongoing career started in 2005. Lee was born on September 14th, 1989 in South Korea.

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Lee Min-ho is an actor, singing, model (people), singer, and model. His most notable accomplishments were from 2003 to present. Lee was born Lee Min-ho on June 22nd, 1987 in Seoul.

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Lee Byung-hun is an actor, dancer, singer, and model. He has had major accomplishments since 1995. Lee was born on August 13th, 1970 in Namhansanseong-myeon, Gwangju County, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.

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IU is a singer-songwriter, actor, and actress. She holds the title Good Day". IU was given the name Lee Ji-eun on May 16th, 1993 in South Korea.

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Lee

Bruce Lee is a martial artist, martial arts instructor, actor, film director, screenwriter, producer, and martial arts. He has had major accomplishments since 1941.

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Hae Min Lee is a high school student. Hae was born on October 15th, 1980 in South Korea.

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Sir Christopher Lee was an actor, singer, and author. His most notable accomplishments were from 1946 to 2015. Christopher was given the name Christopher Frank Carandini Lee on May 27th, 1922 in Belgravia, Westminster, London, England. He died on June 7th, 2015.

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Robert E. Lee is a list of presidents of washington and lee university. His military service ended in 1861.

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Brandon Lee is an artist. His most notable accomplishments were from 1985 to 1993.

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How popular is the baby name Lee in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born Ranking
1880 389 28 361 #43 boy name
1881 381 39 342 #44 boy name
1882 470 43 427 #41 boy name
1883 443 55 388 #43 boy name
1884 483 48 435 #43 boy name
1885 394 46 348 #50 boy name
1886 436 37 399 #47 boy name
1887 460 60 400 #44 boy name
1888 491 61 430 #48 boy name
1889 492 77 415 #46 boy name
1890 468 58 410 #44 boy name
1891 410 68 342 #52 boy name
1892 528 68 460 #46 boy name
1893 511 66 445 #46 boy name
1894 538 83 455 #45 boy name
1895 576 98 478 #47 boy name
1896 528 73 455 #48 boy name
1897 550 97 453 #47 boy name
1898 609 111 498 #46 boy name
1899 482 94 388 #50 boy name
1900 813 138 675 #39 boy name
1901 519 95 424 #45 boy name
1902 609 134 475 #46 boy name
1903 587 110 477 #45 boy name
1904 671 139 532 #45 boy name
1905 651 165 486 #49 boy name
1906 586 150 436 #57 boy name
1907 708 192 516 #55 boy name
1908 750 197 553 #51 boy name
1909 780 196 584 #52 boy name
1910 965 224 741 #49 boy name
1911 904 258 646 #67 boy name
1912 1,342 312 1,030 #78 boy name
1913 1,522 294 1,228 #78 boy name
1914 1,856 405 1,451 #84 boy name
1915 2,361 445 1,916 #84 boy name
1916 2,491 475 2,016 #83 boy name
1917 2,483 479 2,004 #85 boy name
1918 2,666 507 2,159 #86 boy name
1919 2,674 484 2,190 #82 boy name
1920 2,864 543 2,321 #82 boy name
1921 2,813 459 2,354 #86 boy name
1922 2,867 496 2,371 #83 boy name
1923 2,852 493 2,359 #85 boy name
1924 2,908 489 2,419 #83 boy name
1925 3,068 531 2,537 #82 boy name
1926 2,854 542 2,312 #85 boy name
1927 2,882 490 2,392 #86 boy name
1928 2,792 513 2,279 #87 boy name
1929 2,686 475 2,211 #85 boy name
1930 2,825 465 2,360 #82 boy name
1931 2,572 448 2,124 #90 boy name
1932 2,738 455 2,283 #86 boy name
1933 2,706 403 2,303 #79 boy name
1934 2,798 422 2,376 #79 boy name
1935 2,898 473 2,425 #80 boy name
1936 2,858 440 2,418 #76 boy name
1937 2,936 438 2,498 #78 boy name
1938 3,026 450 2,576 #80 boy name
1939 3,063 477 2,586 #78 boy name
1940 3,117 492 2,625 #80 boy name
1941 3,261 520 2,741 #81 boy name
1942 3,507 584 2,923 #87 boy name
1943 3,386 597 2,789 #91 boy name
1944 3,531 598 2,933 #85 boy name
1945 3,627 689 2,938 #87 boy name
1946 4,151 807 3,344 #91 boy name
1947 4,534 857 3,677 #92 boy name
1948 4,286 842 3,444 #93 boy name
1949 4,380 818 3,562 #93 boy name
1950 4,428 818 3,610 #91 boy name
1951 4,576 891 3,685 #92 boy name
1952 4,599 948 3,651 #92 boy name
1953 4,603 1,016 3,587 #93 boy name
1954 4,919 1,356 3,563 #96 boy name
1955 5,415 1,817 3,598 #96 boy name
1956 5,445 1,936 3,509
1957 5,431 1,836 3,595
1958 5,212 1,698 3,514
1959 5,051 1,549 3,502
1960 4,971 1,533 3,438
1961 4,616 1,492 3,124
1962 4,637 1,380 3,257
1963 4,498 1,479 3,019
1964 4,308 1,272 3,036
1965 4,074 1,299 2,775
1966 4,175 1,212 2,963
1967 4,102 1,140 2,962
1968 4,032 1,160 2,872
1969 3,896 1,134 2,762
1970 3,763 970 2,793
1971 3,351 875 2,476
1972 2,952 690 2,262
1973 2,768 658 2,110
1974 2,722 608 2,114
1975 2,445 585 1,860
1976 2,408 532 1,876
1977 2,577 561 2,016
1978 2,469 489 1,980
1979 2,703 622 2,081
1980 2,859 651 2,208
1981 2,745 533 2,212
1982 2,689 485 2,204
1983 2,290 373 1,917
1984 2,525 361 2,164
1985 2,316 310 2,006
1986 2,219 286 1,933
1987 2,054 242 1,812
1988 2,050 268 1,782
1989 1,776 231 1,545
1990 1,647 197 1,450
1991 1,461 162 1,299
1992 1,287 156 1,131
1993 1,147 159 988
1994 1,042 125 917
1995 876 102 774
1996 815 94 721
1997 686 72 614
1998 694 87 607
1999 591 81 510
2000 568 67 501
2001 569 56 513
2002 481 42 439
2003 446 43 403
2004 455 43 412
2005 406 22 384
2006 418 28 390
2007 403 22 381
2008 377 17 360
2009 403 29 374
2010 384 31 353
2011 371 20 351
2012 377 22 355
2013 386 28 358
2014 372 23 349
2015 397 24 373
2016 415 31 384
2017 385 21 364

Where is the name Lee popular?

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Popularity of Lee as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Lee as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Mississippi, Arkansas, or Alabama.

Popularity of Lee as a last name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Lee as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Hawaii, Mississippi, or District of Columbia.

Common last names for Lee

  • Smith
  • Johnson
  • Williams
  • Jones
  • Brown
  • Davis
  • Miller
  • Taylor
  • Wilson
  • Moore
  • Jackson
  • Thomas
  • Anderson
  • Thompson
  • Harris
  • Martin
  • White
  • Robinson
  • Walker
  • Allen

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Lee U.S.
  White 35.95% 64.26%
  African American 16.33% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 42.22% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.97% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.64% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 1.89% 16.26%

Of Last Name Lee

People with the last name Lee are most frequently White, African American, or Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Lee

  • What name lists does Lee rank for?
  • How Popular is the name Lee? Lee is the 247th most popular name of all time. As a last name Lee was the 21st most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Lee have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 292,891 babies born with the first name Lee in the United States. That's more than enough people named Lee to occupy the territory of French Polynesia (France) with an estimated population of 277,000 (as of July 1, 2012).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Lee? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 389 new born babies.
  • When was Lee first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Lee is Friday, October 2nd, 1835.
  • What year had the most people named Lee born? The highest recorded use of the first name Lee was in 1951 with a total of 3,685 babies. That's a lot of babies named Lee!
  • Random Lee Factoid: According to the 1934 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Lee ranks 78th in popularity as a baby boy's name in Virginia. Imagine that, 56 babies in Virginia have the same name as you in 1934.
  • Weird things about the name Lee: Your name in reverse order is Eel. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Lee. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Lee? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 693,023 people with the last name Lee.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Lee? Lee was ranked as the 21st most popular last name but is still less than 0.1% of the population!

What Lees Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Lee

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.