[ 4 syll. ze-no-bia, zen-ob-ia ] The baby girl name Zenobia is pronounced in English as Zah-NOW-Biy-ah †. Zenobia is of Old Greek origin. It is used mainly in English, Italian, Polish, and Romanian. The meaning of Zenobia is 'life of Zeus'. It is derived from the word bios which is of the meaning 'life'. An original form of the name is Zenobia (Old Greek). Zenobia (267-272) was a beautiful but ruthless Queen of Palmyra whose attacks on Roman interests in Asia Minor and Egypt led to her eventual defeat and capture by the emperor Aurelian. The name saw a revival in Cornwall and southwestern England during the 16th century, but the reasons were unclear. Among Americans, it was popularized as the name of a fictional feminist character of exotic origin in the Nathaniel Hawthore novel The Blithedale Romance (1852). Zenobia is the feminine version of the Italian Zenobio.
Zenobia is a widely used name; it has 31 forms that are used in English and foreign languages. English forms of Zenobia include Cenobie, Nobi, Senobe, Senobia, Senovia, Sinobia, Xenobia, Zeba, Zeeba, Zenaida (used in Greek and Spanish too), Zenaide, Zenayda, Zenda, Zenina, Zenobe, Zenobea, Zenobeah, Zenobee, Zenobey, Zenobiah, Zenobie, Zenoby, Zenobya, and Zenovia (used in Greek and Romanian too). Other English variants include the contracted form Zina (used in Czech and Russian too), and the familiar form Zena (used in Italian, Polish, and Romanian too).
Zenobia is unusual as a baby girl name. Its usage peaked modestly in 1909 with 0.009% of baby girls being named Zenobia. It was #683 in rank then. The baby name has experienced a drop in popularity since then, and is currently used only on an infrequent scale. Among all girl names in its family, Zenobia was nevertheless the most commonly used in 2018.
† Pronunciation for Zenobia: Z as in "zoo (Z.UW)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; OW as in "oak (OW.K)" ; B as in "be (B.IY)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)"