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

What does the name Steel mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Steel

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  • A user from Australia says the name Steel is of English origin and means "Hard working".

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Steel
  1. [Metal] A variety of iron intermediate in composition and properties between wrought iron and cast iron (containing between one half of one per cent and one and a half per cent of carbon), and consisting of an alloy of iron with an iron carbide. Steel, unlike wrought iron, can be tempered, and retains magnetism. Its malleability decreases, and fusibility increases, with an increase in carbon.
  2. An instrument or implement made of steel
    1. A weapon, as a sword, dagger, etc.
      "Brave Macbeth . . . with his brandished steel." [Shak.]
      "While doubting thus he stood, Received the steel bathed in his brother's blood." [Dryden.]
    2. An instrument of steel (usually a round rod) for sharpening knives.
    3. A piece of steel for striking sparks from flint.
  3. Fig.: Anything of extreme hardness; that which is characterized by sternness or rigor."Heads of steel."Johnson."Manhood's heart of steel."Byron.
  4. [Med] A chalybeate medicine.

Note: Steel is often used in the formation of compounds, generally of obvious meaning; as, steel-clad, steel-girt, steel-hearted, steel-plated, steel-pointed, etc.

Etymology: AS. stēl stȳl stȳle; akin to D. staal, G. stahl, OHG. stahal, Icel. stāl, Dan. staal, Sw. stål, Old Prussian stakla

verb Steel
  1. To overlay, point, or edge with steel; as, to steel a razor; to steel an ax.
  2. (Fig.:)To make hard or strong; hence, to make insensible or obdurate."Lies well steeled with weighty arguments." [Shak.]"O God of battles! steel my soldiers' hearts." [Shak.]"Why will you fight against so sweet a passion, And steel your heart to such a world of charms?" [Addison.]
  3. (Fig.:)To cause to resemble steel, as in smoothness, polish, or other qualities."These waters, steeled By breezeless air to smoothest polish." [Wordsworth.]
  4. [Elec] To cover, as an electrotype plate, with a thin layer of iron by electrolysis. The iron thus deposited is very hard, like steel.

Etymology: AS. stȳlan: cf. Icel. stæla. See Steel (n.)

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Knife sharpener consisting of a ridged steel rod
  2. A cutting or thrusting weapon that has a long metal blade and a hilt with a hand guard
  3. An alloy of iron with small amounts of carbon; widely used in construction; mechanical properties can be varied over a wide range
  4. Cover, plate, or edge with steel
  5. Get ready for something difficult or unpleasant
  1. A surname​.

Notable Persons Named Steel



Notable Persons With the Last Name Steel

Danielle Steel is a mainstream, romance, and romance novel novelist. Her most notable accomplishments were from 1978 to present. Danielle was given the name Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein-Steel on August 14th, 1947 in New York City, U.S.


John Steel is a rock music, rhythm, and blues musician. John was born on February 4th, 1941 in Gateshead.


The Lord Steel of Aikwood is a for Tweeddale, Ettrick, Lauderdale, for Roxburgh, Selkirk, Peebles, for Lothians, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Leader of the Liberal Party, Liberal Chief Whip, Member of Parliament, forTweeddale, forRoxburgh, Member of the Scottish Parliament, forL. His career lasted from 1999 to 2003. The was given the name David Martin Scott Steel on March 31st, 1938 in Kirkcaldy.


Mark Steel is a political satire comedian. Mark was born on July 4th, 1960 in Swanley, Kent, England.


Doctor Steel is a steampunk, industrial music, hip hop music, electronic music, jazz, alternative rock, and heavy metal music singer-songwriter and internet celebrity. He plays Accordion and Vocals. His most notable accomplishments were from 1999 to 2011.


Hollie Steel is a musician. She plays Piano and Vocals. Her most notable accomplishments were from 2009 to present. Hollie was born Hollie Steel on July 1st, 1998 in England.


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

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
1984 5 0 5
1988 5 0 5
1990 9 0 9
1991 6 0 6
1992 6 0 6
1993 10 0 10
1995 10 0 10
1997 8 0 8
1998 12 0 12
2000 12 0 12
2001 15 0 15
2002 17 0 17
2003 13 0 13
2004 23 0 23
2005 12 0 12
2006 16 0 16
2007 12 0 12
2008 13 0 13
2009 28 0 28
2010 22 0 22
2011 27 0 27
2012 33 0 33
2013 25 0 25
2014 35 0 35
2015 33 0 33
2016 52 0 52
2017 50 0 50

Where is the name Steel popular?

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Popularity of Steel as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Steel as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Pennsylvania, New York, or Texas.

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Steel U.S.
  White 79.17% 64.26%
  African American 13.81% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.72% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.87% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.18% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 3.25% 16.26%

Of Last Name Steel

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

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Steel

  • How Popular is the name Steel? Steel is the 16,127th most popular name of all time. As a last name Steel was the 4,949th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Steel have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 509 babies born with the first name Steel in the United States. That's more than enough people named Steel to occupy the territory of Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 66 (as of July 1, 2008).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Steel? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1984 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Steel first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Steel is Saturday, August 16th, 1890.
  • What year had the most people named Steel born? The highest recorded use of the first name Steel was in 2016 with a total of 52 babies.
  • Random Steel Factoid: According to the 2014 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Steel is not a popular baby boy's name in California. Imagine that, only 5 babies in California have the same name as you in 2014.
  • Weird things about the name Steel: Your name in reverse order is Leets. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Selet. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Steel? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 7,111 people with the last name Steel.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Steel? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 2 of them will have Steel as their last name.

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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.