The name Sviatoshyn is derived from the nickname of Prince Svyatoslav Davydovych of Chernihiv, Svyatosha (meaning godly, religious), who received the neighbourhood (then a distant village) as gift in the 12th century. Literally, the name can be translated as "property of Svyatosha". Later, it became a large suburb to the west of Kiev. Since 1939, Svyatoshyn village is a part of Kiev.
The neighborhood was connected by metro in 1970 when the Sviatoshyn station was opened.
The administrative Sviatoshyn Raion (Ukrainian: Святошинський район, Sviatoshynskyi Raion) includes not only Svyatoshyn proper, but also other adjacent historical neighborhoods like Borshchahivka, some of which are much larger in size. Raion's current population is 360,000 inhabitants.
The governing bodies of the adjacent Kyiv-Svyatoshyn Raion of the Kiev Oblast are situated in the Sviatoshyn Raion of Kiev as the former oblast raion is purely suburban and lacks a distinctive center settlement.