Kyrie Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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When you hear the word Kyrie, the American professional basketball player named Kyrie Irving likely comes to mind, but do you know what this Greek word means? Not to worry; we’ll tell you. 

Read on as we explore the word Kyrie to uncover its definition, origin, usage, and more. Are you ready? Let’s dive in! 

What Is the Definition of Kyrie?

ky·​rie | \ˈkir-ē-ˌā\ \ˈkɪrɪɪ əˈleɪsən\

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word kyrie is the shortened form of Kyrie Eleison, which is a repeated invocation used in many Christian liturgies — especially at the start of the Eucharist or as a response in a litany. 

It’s used as a prayer in Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic services. 

Note: Greek was the original language of the New Testament, and it was later translated into Latin.

Is Kyrie a Common Baby’s Name?

Yes, the name Kyrie (KEER-ee-ay il-AY-iss-on) is both a boy’s name and a girl’s name meaning “Lord.” 

Despite stemming from one of the oldest religious refrains (Kyrie Eleison), the respected name has grown in popularity due to the famous American basketball player Kyrie Irving. Whether your intentions are sacred or secular, a child will have a name that is rich with meaning when a choice like Kyrie is an option.

What Are Some Similar Boy Names to Kyrie?

Biblical names for a baby boy that are similar to Kyrie include:

  • Aaron — High mountain
  • Abraham — Father of nations
  • Adam — Man
  • Amos — To carry, borne by God
  • Andrew — Manly and powerful
  • Benjamin — A favorite son
  • Caleb — Whole heart
  • Cyrus — Lord
  • Daniel — God is my judge
  • David — Beloved
  • Ethan — Enduring and strong
  • Isaac — He will laugh
  • Isaiah — God is salvation
  • Jacob — Supplanter
  • Jared — Descent
  • Jason — To heal
  • Joel — Yahweh is God
  • John — God is gracious
  • Joseph — Jehovah will increase
  • Joshua — God is salvation
  • Josiah — God supports
  • Lucas — From Lucania
  • Matthew — Gift of God
  • Nathan — He gave
  • Noah — To rest
  • Paul — Small
  • Peter — Stone
  • Philip — Horse lover
  • Samson — Sun
  • Seth — Appointed
  • Simon — He has heard
  • Stephen — Crown
  • Thomas — Twin
  • Timothy — Honoring God
  • Zachariah/Zach — The Lord recalled

What Are Some Similar Girl Names to Kyrie?

Some Biblical names for a baby girl that are similar to Kyrie include:

  • Abigail — Fathers rejoice
  • Adina — Noble, gentle, delicate
  • Angela — Messenger of God
  • Anna — Gracious
  • Ariel — Lion of God
  • Bethany — House of figs
  • Bethel — House of God
  • Candace — Clarity, whiteness
  • Charity — Dear, beloved
  • Chloe — Green sprout
  • Deborah — Bee
  • Delilah — Delicate
  • Diana — Heavenly and divine
  • Elizabeth — God’s promise, God is my oath
  • Esther — Star
  • Eve — Life, animal
  • Faith — Devotion
  • Gabriela — God is my strength
  • Hannah — Grace
  • Hope — Desire to be
  • Joanna — God is gracious 
  • Jordan — To descend
  • Joy — Happiness
  • Julia — Youthful and downy
  • Leah — Weary one
  • Lillian — Lily flower
  • Lois — Superior
  • Lydia — From Lydia
  • Mara — Bitter
  • Martha — Lady, mistress of the house
  • Mary — Of the sea
  • Phoebe — Bright and pure
  • Rachel — Ewe
  • Rebecca — To join
  • Rose — Rose flower
  • Ruth — Friend
  • Sarah — Princess
  • Sharon — Fertile plain
  • Susannah — Lily
  • Tamara — Date palm

What Is the Origin of Kyrie?

Middle English Kyrie (Eleison) — which was first noted in the early 13c. — comes from the Late Latin Kȳrie (Eleison), which is a contraction of the Ancient Greek phrase Κύριε ἐλέησον (Kúrie eléēson). 

Additionally, Kyrie is a transliteration of the Greek Κύριε, the vocative case of Κύριος — which literally translates to Kúrios or “Lord.”

How Can You Use Kyrie in a Sentence?

By now, you should feel a little more comfortable with our word of the day, so let’s practice using it in a sentence! Quiz yourself to see how many sentences you can conjure up properly using the word Kyrie. 

To get you going, we went ahead and compiled a shortlist of sentence examples for you to review below:

“My husband and I are planning to name our baby boy Kyrie when he is born this summer.”

“I enjoy the new pastor as much as the next fellah, but his new response to the Introit, over the traditional, Gloria or Kyrie was a little much, don’t you think? Honestly, who says such silly things.” 

“Kyrie Irving is my favorite basketball player on the Brooklyn Nets.”

“As the ethereal strains of the Introit and Kyrie filled the room, Tara closed her eyes.”

“Did you know that the band Mr. Mister released their popular song Kyrie back in 1985?”

“Technically, the word kyrie can be defined as a set of the traditional kyrie text to music for a church.”

“Suzie was the maid of honor at Kyrie and Amber’s wedding last year.”

“Mass concluded with a versicle and a litany that started with Kyrie eleison.”

What Are Translations of Kyrie?

Now that you understand what the word Kyrie means, you might be interested in learning how to say it in a different language. Below, you’ll find some of the most common translations for Kyrie — or, “Lord, have mercy”:

Translations of Lord, have mercy:

  • Afrikaans — Here, wees barmhartig
  • Arabic — يا رب، ارحم
  • Bulgarian — Господи, смили се
  • Chinese (simplified) — 主啊,求你怜悯
  • Croatian — Gospode, smiluj se
  • Czech — Pane, smiluj se
  • Danish — Herre, hav barmhjertighed
  • American English — 
  • Dutch — Heer, ontferm U over
  • Finnish — Herra, armahda
  • French — Seigneur, aie pitié
  • German — Herr, hab Erbarmen
  • Italian — Signore, abbi pietà
  • Greek — Κύριε, ελέησον
  • Japanese — 主よ、憐れみをもってください。
  • Korean — 주님, 자비를 베푸소서
  • Norwegian — Herre, ha barmhjertighet
  • Polish — Panie, zmiłuj się
  • British English — 
  • Portugese — Senhor, tenha misericórdia
  • Russian — Господи, помилуй
  • Spanish — Señor, ten piedad
  • Swedish — Herre, förbarma dig
  • Thai — ข้าแต่พระองค์ผู้เจริญ ทรงมีพระเมตตา
  • Turkish — Rabbim, merhamet et
  • Ukrainian — Господи, помилуй
  • Vietnamese — Lạy Chúa, xin thương xót


So, what does the word Kyrie mean, you ask?

Simply put, Kyrie (or kyrie Eleison) means “Lord, have mercy.” It refers to a short repeated invocation — in Greek or in translation — that is commonly used in many Christian liturgies, especially at the beginning of the Eucharist or as a response in a litany.


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