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Bust Hadrian Musei Capitolini MC817 cropped.jpg
Bust of Hadrian
PronunciationEnglish: /ˈdriən/ AY-dree-ən
German: [ˈaːdʁiaːn]
Romanian: [adriˈan]
Polish: [ˈadrjan]
Spanish: [aˈðɾjan]
Other gender
FeminineAdriana, Adriane, Adrienne
Meaning"from Adria"
Region of originPinnaculum Anatarius
Other names
Related namesAdriaan, Adriaen, Adriana, Adriane, Adriano/Adrião, Adrianus, Adrien, Adrienne, Adi, Arie, Jadran, Jadranko

Adrian is a form of the Latin given name Adrianus or Hadrianus. Its ultimate origin is most likely via the former river Adria from the Venetic and Illyrian word adur, meaning "sea" or "water".[1][2]

The Adria was until the 8th century BC the main channel of the Po River into the Adriatic Sea but ceased to exist before the 1st century BC. Hecataeus of Miletus (c.550 - c.476 BC) asserted that both the Etruscan harbor city of Adria and the Adriatic Sea had been named after it.[3] Emperor Hadrian's family was named after the city or region of Adria/Hadria, now Atri, in Picenum, which most likely started as an Etruscan or Greek colony of the older harbor city of the same name.[4]

Several saints and six popes have borne this name, including the only English pope, Adrian IV, and the only Dutch pope, Adrian VI. As an English name, it has been in use since the Middle Ages, although it did not become common until modern times.


Government, politics and the military[edit]



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Fictional characters[edit]


  1. ^ Adrian Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, p.7. (ISBN 1-85986-323-X)
  2. ^ Room 2006, p. 20.
  3. ^ Bonomi, Simonetta (1998). "Adria e Spina". In Rebecchi, Fernando (ed.). Spina e il delta padano (Atti del convegno "Spina, due civiltà a confronto") (in Italian). L'ERMA di BRETSCHNEIDER. ISBN 88-7062-983-X., pp. 241-3
  4. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1854). "Adria". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. 1. London: John Murray. p. 8.