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From Latin Zenobia, from Ancient Greek Ζηνοβία (Zēnobía), name of a third century Queen of Palmyra. Ostensibly from Ζήνων (Zḗnōn), an ancient derivative of Ζεύς (Zeús), but also suggested to be a rendering of the Arabic زينب (Zaynab). First recorded as an English given name in Cornwall in 1586.

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A female given name.
    • 1880, Benjamin Disraeli, Endymion
      "I shall always think," said Zenobia, "that Lord Liverpool went much too far, though I never said so in his time; for I always uphold my friends."
    • 1946 P. G. Wodehouse, Joy in the Morning, Overlook Press (2002), ISBN 1585672769, page 12:
      This Zenobia ("Nobby") Hopwood was old Worplesdon's ward, as I believe it is called. A pal of his, just before he stopped ticking over some years previously, had left him in charge of his daughter.

Related terms[edit]