Moira is the anglicized form of Máire, the Irish form of Mary, the English form of Hebrew Miriam, a name of unknown meaning though possible meanings ascribed to it are “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness” or “obstinacy”, and “wished for child”. It’s also possible that it might be derived from an Egyptian source either meaning “beloved” from myr, or from mr “love”.
Moira is also the singular form of Moirai, also known as the Fates in English, the three goddesses of fate who determined the fates of men from birth to death. Clotho was the one who spun the thread, Lachesis was the one who determined the length of the thread, and Atropos was the one who cut the thread. Moira means “part, portion; lot, destiny” in Ancient Greek via meíromai (to receive as one’s portion) derived from PIE root word *(s)mer- (to assign, allot). Ancient Greek elements moros (fate, destiny; doom, death) and meros (lot, destiny; share, portion) derive from the same root word.
Moira is also a Greek term for a military formation meaning “part, division”, deriving from the origin above.
Origin: Hebrew, Egyptian, Proto-Indo-European
- Moyra (Irish Scottish)
- Máire (Irish)
- Moire (Scottish Gaelic)