Ray

First Name
207k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
133k
in the U.S.
in 2010
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Ray mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Ray

"Ray" is a name of English origin, and it means "Counsel Protection". It's a name commonly given to boys.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
verb Ray
Senses
  1. To array.(Obs)
  2. To mark, stain, or soil; to streak; to defile.(Obs)"The filth that did it ray." [Spenser.]

Etymology: An aphetic form of array; cf. Beray

noun Ray
Array; order; arrangement; dress.
noun Ray
Senses
  1. One of a number of lines or parts diverging from a common point or center, like the radii of a circle; as, a star of six rays .
  2. [Bot] A radiating part of a flower or plant; the marginal florets of a compound flower, as an aster or a sunflower; one of the pedicels of an umbel or other circular flower cluster; radius. See Radius.
  3. [Zoöl]
    1. One of the radiating spines, or cartilages, supporting the fins of fishes.
    2. One of the spheromeres of a radiate, especially one of the arms of a starfish or an ophiuran.
  4. [Physics]
    1. A line of light or heat proceeding from a radiant or reflecting point; a single element of light or heat propagated continuously; as, a solar ray; a polarized ray.
    2. One of the component elements of the total radiation from a body; any definite or limited portion of the spectrum; as, the red ray; the violet ray. See Illust. under Light.
  5. Sight; perception; vision; -- from an old theory of vision, that sight was something which proceeded from the eye to the object seen."All eyes direct their rays On him, and crowds turn coxcombs as they gaze." [Pope.]
  6. [Geom] One of a system of diverging lines passing through a point, and regarded as extending indefinitely in both directions. See Half-ray.

Etymology: OF. rai, F. rais, fr. L. radius a beam or ray, staff, rod, spoke of a wheel. Cf. Radius

verb Ray
Senses
  1. To mark with long lines; to streak.(Obs)
  2. Etymology: From Ray (n.)

    To send forth or shoot out; to cause to shine out; as, to ray smiles.(R)

Etymology: Cf. OF. raier raiier rayer, L. radiare to irradiate. See Ray (n.), and cf. Radiate

verb Ray
To shine, as with rays.
noun Ray
Any one of numerous elasmobranch fishes of the order Raiæ, including the skates, torpedoes, sawfishes, etc.In a restricted sense, any of the broad, flat, narrow-tailed species, as the skates and sting rays. See Skate.

Etymology: F. raie, L. raia. Cf. Roach

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Cartilaginous fishes having horizontally flattened bodies and enlarged winglike pectoral fins with gills on the underside; most swim by moving the pectoral fins
  2. Any of the stiff bony spines in the fin of a fish
  3. The syllable naming the second (supertonic) note of any major scale in solmization
  4. A column of light (as from a beacon)
  5. A group of nearly parallel lines of electromagnetic radiation
  6. A branch of an umbel or an umbelliform inflorescence
  7. (mathematics) a straight line extending from a point
  8. Expose to radiation
  9. Extend or spread outward from a center or focus or inward towards a center
  10. Emit as rays ("That tower rays a laser beam for miles across the sky")
Wiktionary

From Persian ری (Rey), from Middle Persian, from Old Persian 𐎼𐎥𐎠 (Ragā), a Median district. Compare Akkadian [script needed] (ra-ga-'), Elamite [script needed] (rák-ka4-an) (loc.), Ancient Greek Ῥάγαι (Rhágai), Latin Rhagae, Rhaganae, Iranian borrowings.

  1. A city near Tehran, Iran.

    Notable Persons Named Ray

    Ray Allen is a basketball player for the Free agent, Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat. He has had major accomplishments since 1996. Ray was born on July 20th, 1975 in Castle Air Force Base.

    Popularity:

    Ray Kroc was a predominant establisher of the mcdonald's corporation, mcdonald's, and predominant establisher of themcdonald's corporation. Ray was given the name Raymond Albert Kroc on October 5th, 1902 in Oak Park, Illinois, U.S. He left this life on January 14th, 1984.

    Popularity:

    Ray Charles was a rhythm, blues, soul music, gospel music, country music, jazz, pop music, rock, and roll musician. He plays Piano, Keyboard instrument, and Vocals. He was most active from 1947 to 2001. Ray was given the name Raymond Charles Robinson on September 23rd, 1930 in Albany, Georgia, U.S. He passed away on June 10th, 2004.

    Popularity:

    Ray Liotta is an actor, film producer, and voice actor. He has been prominent since 1978. Ray was born on December 18th, 1954 in Newark, New Jersey.

    Popularity:

    Ray J is a contemporary r&b, hip hop music, and pop music singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, rapper, and rapping. He has been prominent since 1989. Ray was given the name William Ray Norwood, Jr. on January 17th, 1981 in McComb, Mississippi, United States. Ray is also known as Ray J.

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    Ray Kurzweil is an author, entrepreneur, futurist, and inventor. Ray was given the name Raymond Kurzweil on February 12th, 1948 in , New York, U.S.

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    Notable Persons With the Last Name Ray

    Popularity:

    Satyajit Ray was a director, producer, screenwriter, lyricist, music composer, calligrapher, illustrator, and writer. He was most prominent from 1950 to 1992. Satyajit was born on May 2nd, 1921 in Kolkata. He passed away on April 23rd, 1992.

    Popularity:

    David was born on November 6th, 1939 in New Mexico. David is also known as The Toy-Box Killer. He passed away on May 28th, 2002.

    Popularity:

    Rachael Ray is a chef. Rachael was given the name Rachael Domenica Ray on August 25th, 1968 in Glens Falls, New York, U.S.

    Popularity:

    Man Ray was an artist in the fields of painting, photography, assemblage (art), and collage. Man was given the name Emmanuel Radnitzky on August 27th, 1890 in Philadelphia. He left this life on November 18th, 1976.

    Popularity:

    James Arthur Ray is a new thought author, motivational speaker, new thought, and new thoughtauthor. James was born on November 22nd, 1957 in Honolulu.

    Popularity:

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

    Click Here to Show Chart Data
    Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born Ranking
    1880 150 8 142 #96 boy name
    1881 159 11 148 #86 boy name
    1882 210 15 195 #82 boy name
    1883 212 10 202 #78 boy name
    1884 254 22 232 #77 boy name
    1885 262 25 237 #74 boy name
    1886 292 21 271 #67 boy name
    1887 280 22 258 #66 boy name
    1888 360 29 331 #63 boy name
    1889 385 30 355 #54 boy name
    1890 393 44 349 #56 boy name
    1891 396 36 360 #49 boy name
    1892 423 38 385 #57 boy name
    1893 413 35 378 #56 boy name
    1894 419 40 379 #57 boy name
    1895 408 28 380 #56 boy name
    1896 461 35 426 #50 boy name
    1897 441 44 397 #51 boy name
    1898 425 31 394 #56 boy name
    1899 348 33 315 #61 boy name
    1900 492 35 457 #55 boy name
    1901 355 17 338 #59 boy name
    1902 431 40 391 #57 boy name
    1903 431 34 397 #55 boy name
    1904 462 30 432 #55 boy name
    1905 467 43 424 #60 boy name
    1906 465 44 421 #60 boy name
    1907 513 38 475 #60 boy name
    1908 490 43 447 #67 boy name
    1909 525 50 475 #66 boy name
    1910 601 56 545 #67 boy name
    1911 665 63 602 #71 boy name
    1912 1,110 60 1,050 #77 boy name
    1913 1,395 67 1,328 #73 boy name
    1914 1,765 108 1,657 #74 boy name
    1915 2,491 126 2,365 #67 boy name
    1916 2,466 132 2,334 #73 boy name
    1917 2,560 133 2,427 #74 boy name
    1918 2,924 162 2,762 #69 boy name
    1919 2,848 126 2,722 #69 boy name
    1920 3,224 138 3,086 #67 boy name
    1921 3,208 133 3,075 #67 boy name
    1922 3,147 96 3,051 #65 boy name
    1923 3,280 120 3,160 #61 boy name
    1924 3,492 122 3,370 #60 boy name
    1925 3,315 97 3,218 #64 boy name
    1926 3,529 120 3,409 #57 boy name
    1927 3,358 108 3,250 #60 boy name
    1928 3,345 95 3,250 #57 boy name
    1929 3,292 116 3,176 #57 boy name
    1930 3,352 102 3,250 #57 boy name
    1931 3,245 83 3,162 #60 boy name
    1932 3,332 72 3,260 #59 boy name
    1933 3,099 68 3,031 #62 boy name
    1934 3,243 68 3,175 #63 boy name
    1935 3,143 74 3,069 #64 boy name
    1936 3,004 64 2,940 #64 boy name
    1937 2,774 49 2,725 #71 boy name
    1938 2,926 44 2,882 #72 boy name
    1939 2,753 45 2,708 #74 boy name
    1940 2,841 47 2,794 #77 boy name
    1941 2,730 34 2,696 #83 boy name
    1942 3,112 48 3,064 #84 boy name
    1943 3,106 43 3,063 #84 boy name
    1944 2,951 46 2,905 #86 boy name
    1945 2,782 40 2,742 #92 boy name
    1946 3,214 48 3,166 #95 boy name
    1947 3,418 37 3,381 #97 boy name
    1948 3,181 48 3,133 #100 boy name
    1949 2,749 40 2,709
    1950 2,669 32 2,637
    1951 2,720 42 2,678
    1952 2,733 39 2,694
    1953 2,860 49 2,811
    1954 3,018 43 2,975
    1955 3,109 37 3,072
    1956 3,282 53 3,229
    1957 3,451 41 3,410
    1958 3,233 50 3,183
    1959 3,269 47 3,222
    1960 3,108 32 3,076
    1961 2,953 32 2,921
    1962 2,711 33 2,678
    1963 2,625 44 2,581
    1964 2,298 23 2,275
    1965 2,115 24 2,091
    1966 1,854 28 1,826
    1967 1,637 18 1,619
    1968 1,619 24 1,595
    1969 1,549 24 1,525
    1970 1,487 26 1,461
    1971 1,293 27 1,266
    1972 1,195 17 1,178
    1973 1,067 21 1,046
    1974 969 13 956
    1975 917 21 896
    1976 865 15 850
    1977 826 18 808
    1978 817 24 793
    1979 842 18 824
    1980 852 10 842
    1981 867 10 857
    1982 883 16 867
    1983 777 13 764
    1984 773 7 766
    1985 778 10 768
    1986 746 6 740
    1987 784 15 769
    1988 758 15 743
    1989 733 10 723
    1990 764 9 755
    1991 699 5 694
    1992 594 12 582
    1993 571 8 563
    1994 574 10 564
    1995 495 0 495
    1996 445 0 445
    1997 451 8 443
    1998 446 0 446
    1999 426 12 414
    2000 441 6 435
    2001 366 6 360
    2002 385 9 376
    2003 336 0 336
    2004 391 0 391
    2005 428 8 420
    2006 449 0 449
    2007 382 0 382
    2008 377 6 371
    2009 370 5 365
    2010 364 0 364
    2011 345 0 345
    2012 331 5 326
    2013 372 11 361
    2014 336 9 327
    2015 358 10 348
    2016 344 21 323
    2017 325 21 304

    Where is the name Ray popular?

    View popular names by state or region.

    Popularity of Ray as a first name

    The map shows the relative popularity of the name Ray as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in West Virginia, Arkansas, or Oklahoma.

    Popularity of Ray as a last name

    The map shows the relative popularity of the name Ray as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in North Carolina, Mississippi, or Alabama.

    Common last names for Ray

    • Smith
    • Johnson
    • Miller
    • Williams
    • Brown
    • Jones
    • Davis
    • Wilson
    • Martin
    • Anderson
    • Thompson
    • Moore
    • Taylor
    • Thomas
    • Harris
    • White
    • Baker
    • Allen
    • Hall

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Ray U.S.
      White 74.97% 64.26%
      African American 17.54% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 1.94% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.93% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 2.05% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 2.56% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Ray

    People with the last name Ray are most frequently White or African American

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Ray

    • What name lists does Ray rank for?
    • How Popular is the name Ray? Ray is the 360th most popular name of all time. As a last name Ray was the 220th most popular name in 2010.
    • How many people with the first name Ray have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 207,499 babies born with the first name Ray in the United States. That's more than enough people named Ray to occupy the country of Samoa with an estimated population of 186,340 (as of November 7, 2011).
    • What year were 5 or more babies first named Ray? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 150 new born babies.
    • When was Ray first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Ray is Thursday, March 5th, 1846.
    • What year had the most people named Ray born? The highest recorded use of the first name Ray was in 1957 with a total of 3,410 babies. That's a lot of babies named Ray!
    • Random Ray Factoid: According to the 1920 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Ray ranks 97th in popularity as a baby boy's name in South Carolina. Imagine that, 40 babies in South Carolina have the same name as you in 1920.
    • Weird things about the name Ray: Your name in reverse order is Yar. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Yar. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Ray? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 133,171 people with the last name Ray.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Ray? Ray was ranked as the 220th most popular last name but is still less than 0.1% of the population!

    What Rays Have Visited This Page?

    Name poster for Ray

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    Most Popular Names

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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.