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Maeve, Maev or Maiv is a female given name of Irish origin. It comes from the Irish name Méabh, which was spelt Meadhbh in early modern Irish (pronounced [mɛɣv]), Meḋḃ or Meaḋḃ in Middle Irish, and Medb in Old Irish (pronounced [mɛðv]). It may derive from a word meaning "she who intoxicates", "mead-woman", or alternatively "she who rules". Medb is a queen in Irish mythology who is thought to have originally been a sovereignty goddess. In ancient and medieval Ireland, the drinking of mead was a key part of a king's inauguration ceremony.
Maeve (in that spelling) was a Top 100 girls' name in Ireland for all but 12 of the 46 years between 1964 and 2009, and Meabh ranked 76th on the list of the most popular Irish girls' names of 2017. In Northern Ireland, Maeve was a Top 100 girls' name between 1997 and 2004, and Meabh ranked 44th in 2017.
People with the given name
- Medb, Queen of Connacht in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology
- Medb ingen Indrechtach mac Muiredaig, Princess of Connacht, fl. 800
- Maeve Binchy (1940–2012), Irish writer
- Maeve Brennan (1917–1993), Irish short story writer and journalist
- Maeve Dermody (born 1985), Australian actress
- Maeve Fort (born 1940), British diplomat
- Maeve Gilmour (1917-1983], British artist and wife of Mervyn Peake
- Maeve Harris (born 1976), American abstract painter
- Maeve Higgins (born 1981), Irish comedian
- Maeve Hillery (née Finnegan), retired Irish doctor, the widow of Patrick Hillery, President of Ireland 1976–90
- Maeve Ingoldsby (born 1947), Irish writer
- Maeve Jinkings (born 1976), Brazilian actress
- Maeve Kelly (born 1930), Irish writer
- Maeve Kennedy McKean, American attorney and academic
- Maeve Kinkead (born 1946), American actress
- Meave Leakey, paleontologist, born 1942
- Maeve McCarthy, Irish mathematician
- Maeve McGuire (born 1937), American actress
- Maeve Murphy, Irish screenwriter and film director
- Maeve O'Boyle (born 1987), Scottish singer-songwriter
- Maeve O'Donovan (born 1990), Irish singer
- Maeve Quaid, Canadian academic
- Maeve Quinlan (born 1964), American actress and tennis player
- Maeve Sherlock (born 1960), British peer
- Queen Maeve International Summer School, or Scoil Samhraidh Miosgán Medbha, one of Ireland's traditional music summer schools
- Stella Maeve (born 1989), American actress
In popular culture
- Maeve Benson, in the ABC Family drama Make It Or Break It, played by Alice Greczyn
- Maeve Donavan, in the American police drama Criminal Minds
- Maeve Millay, a main character in the TV series Westworld
- Maeve Ridordan, in Cate Tiernan's Sweep (book series)
- Maeve Ryan, in the American soap opera Ryan's Hope, played by Helen Gallagher
- Maeve Rojas, in Karen McManus’s One of Us book series
- Maeve Stoddard, in the American soap opera Guiding Light
- Maeve Wiley, in the Netflix series Sex Education, played by Emma Mackey
- Maeve, a sorceress in the Canadian TV series The Adventures of Sinbad
- Maeve, a flanker class character in the popular video game Paladins: Champions of the Realm
- Maeve, a Fae Queen in the Throne of Glass series
- Maeve, The Winter Lady, the youngest of the Winter Queens, who is The Queen Who Is To Come in The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher
- Queen Maeve, a superhero who is part of "The 7" on the series The Boys.
- Maebh, character in the 8th series, 10th episode of Doctor Who, "In the Forest of the Night".
- Queen Meve, Queen of Lyria and Rivia in The Witcher universe, who gave Geralt his title "of Rivia"
- Mebh, a main character in the animated film Wolfwalkers
- nic Bryan, Mari Elspeth (4 January 2004). "Index of Names in Irish Annals: Meadhbh". MedievalScotland.org. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- Irslinger, Britta. "Medb 'the intoxicating one'? (Re-)constructing the past through etymology". Ulidia 4: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on the Ulster Cycle of Tales, 2013.
- Ó hÓgáin, Dáithí. Myth, Legend & Romance: An encyclopaedia of the Irish folk tradition. Prentice Hall Press, 1991. pp.294-295
- Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture. ABC-CLIO, 2011. pp.226-227
- Nickerson, Eleanor (25 August 2018). "Name of the Week: Maeve: A sleek and sturdy perennial Irish choice with a fascinating warrior-queen goddess namesake. Ripe for export". British Baby Names. Retrieved 27 August 2018.