Will name meaning

First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010

How to Pronounce Will

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Will mean? Keep reading to find the user submitted meanings, dictionary definitions, and more.

Origin and Meaning of Will

User Submitted Origins


User Submitted Meanings

  1. According to a user from Australia, the name Will is of English origin and means "Resolute Protector from God".
  2. 2 submissions from the United States and the United Kingdom agree the name Will means "A beautiful human being" and is of English origin.
  3. A submission from Michigan, U.S. says the name Will means "Resolute protector".
  4. 2 submissions from the United States and the United Kingdom agree the name Will means "Gift of god" and is of English origin.
  5. According to a user from Arizona, U.S., the name Will is of English origin and means "Determined protector. Short form of William or other names beginning with Will".
  6. A submission from Washington, U.S. says the name Will means "Variant on the German 'Wilhelm' meaning great protector" and is of German origin.
  7. According to a user from Canada, the name Will means "Amazing".
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International Interest
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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Will
  1. The power of choosing; the faculty or endowment of the soul by which it is capable of choosing; the faculty or power of the mind by which we decide to do or not to do; the power or faculty of preferring or selecting one of two or more objects."It is necessary to form a distinct notion of what is meant by the word “volition” in order to understand the import of the word will, for this last word expresses the power of mind of which “volition” is the act." [Stewart.]" Will is an ambiguous word, being sometimes put for the faculty of willing; sometimes for the act of that faculty, besides [having] other meanings. But “volition” always signifies the act of willing, and nothing else." [Reid.]"Appetite is the will's solicitor, and the will is appetite's controller; what we covet according to the one, by the other we often reject." [Hooker.]"The will is plainly that by which the mind chooses anything." [J. Edwards.]
  2. The choice which is made; a determination or preference which results from the act or exercise of the power of choice; a volition."The word “will,” however, is not always used in this its proper acceptation, but is frequently substituted for “volition”, as when I say that my hand mover in obedience to my will." [Stewart.]
  3. The choice or determination of one who has authority; a decree; a command; discretionary pleasure."Thy will be done." [Matt. vi. 10.]"Our prayers should be according to the will of God." [Law.]
  4. Strong wish or inclination; desire; purpose.
  5. That which is strongly wished or desired."What's your will, good friar?" [Shak.]"The mariner hath his will." [Coleridge.]
  6. Arbitrary disposal; power to control, dispose, or determine."Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies." [Ps. xxvii. 12.]
  7. [Law] The legal declaration of a person's mind as to the manner in which he would have his property or estate disposed of after his death; the written instrument, legally executed, by which a man makes disposition of his estate, to take effect after his death; testament; devise. See the Note under Testament, 1.

Note: ☞ “ Inclination is another word with which will is frequently confounded. Thus, when the apothecary says, in Romeo and Juliet,"My poverty, but not my will, consents; . . . Put this in any liquid thing you will, And drink it off." the word will is plainly used as, synonymous with inclination; not in the strict logical sense, as the immediate antecedent of action. It is with the same latitude that the word is used in common conversation, when we speak of doing a thing which duty prescribes, against one's own will; or when we speak of doing a thing willingly or unwillingly.” Stewart.

Note: ☞ Wills are written or nuncupative, that is, oral. See Nuncupative will, under Nuncupative.

Etymology: OE. wille, AS. willa; akin to OFries. willa, OS. willeo willio, D. wil, G. wille, Icel. vili, Dan. villie, Sw. vilja, Goth wilja. See Will (v.)

verb Will
  1. To wish; to desire; to incline to have."A wife as of herself no thing ne sholde [should Wille in effect, but as her husband woldewould]." [Chaucer.]"Caleb said unto her, What will thou ?" [Judg. i. 14.]"They would none of my counsel." [Prov. i. 30.]
  2. As an auxiliary, will is used to denote futurity dependent on the verb. Thus, in first person, “I will” denotes willingness, consent, promise; and when “will” is emphasized, it denotes determination or fixed purpose; as, I will go if you wish; I will go at all hazards. In the second and third persons, the idea of distinct volition, wish, or purpose is evanescent, and simple certainty is appropriately expressed; as, “You will go,” or “He will go,” describes a future event as a fact only. To emphasize will denotes (according to the tone or context) certain futurity or fixed determination.

Note: Will, auxiliary, may be used elliptically for will go. “ I'll to her lodgings.” Marlowe.

Note: ☞ As in shallwhich see), the second and third persons may be virtually converted into the first, either by question or indirect statement, so as to receive the meaning which belongs to will in that person; thus, “ Will you go?” (answer, “I will go”) asks assent, requests, etc.; while “ Will he go?” simply inquires concerning futurity; thus, also,“He says or thinks he will go,” “You say or think you will go,” both signify willingness or consent.

Note: Would, as the preterit of will, is chiefly employed in conditional, subjunctive, or optative senses; as, he would go if he could; he could go if he would; he said that he would go; I would fain go, but can not; I would that I were young again; and other like phrases. In the last use, the first personal pronoun is often omitted; as, would that he were here; would to Heaven that it were so; and, omitting the to in such an adjuration. “ Would God I had died for thee.” Would is used for both present and future time, in conditional propositions, and would have for past time; as, he would go now if he were ready; if it should rain, he would not go; he would have gone, had he been able. Would not, as also will not, signifies refusal. “He was angry, and would not go in.” Luke xv. 28. Would is never a past participle.

Note: ☞ In Ireland, Scotland, and the United States, especially in the southern and western portions of the United States, shall and will should and would, are often misused, as in the following examples:"I am able to devote as much time and attention to other subjects as I willshall] be under the necessity of doing next winter." Chalmers. "A countryman, telling us what he had seen, remarked that if the conflagration went on, as it was doing, we wouldshould] have, as our next season's employment, the Old Town of Edinburgh to rebuild." H. Miller. "I feel assured that I willshall] not have the misfortune to find conflicting views held by one so enlightened as your excellency." J. Y. Mason.

Etymology: OE. willen, imp. wolde; akin to OS. willan, OFries. willa, D. willen, G. wollen, OHG. wollan wellan, Icel. & Sw. vilja, Dan. ville, Goth. wiljan, OSlav. voliti, L. velle to wish, volo I wish; cf. Skr. vṛ to choose, to prefer. Cf. Voluntary Welcome Well (adv.)

verb Will
To be willing; to be inclined or disposed; to be pleased; to wish; to desire.

Note: ☞ This word has been confused with will, v. i., to choose, which, unlike this, is of the weak conjugation.

verb Will
  1. To form a distinct volition of; to determine by an act of choice; to ordain; to decree."What she willto do or say." [Milton.]"By all law and reason, that which the Parliament will not, is no more established in this kingdom." [Milton.]"Two things he [God willeth, that we should be good, and that we should be happy." [Barrow.]
  2. To enjoin or command, as that which is determined by an act of volition; to direct; to order.(Obs. or R)"They willed me say so, madam." [Shak.]"Send for music, And will the cooks to use their best of cunning To please the palate." [Beau. & Fl.]"As you go, will the lord mayor . . . To attend our further pleasure presently." [J. Webster.]
  3. To give or direct the disposal of by testament; to bequeath; to devise; as, to will one's estate to a child; also, to order or direct by testament; as, he willed that his nephew should have his watch.

Etymology: Cf. AS. willian. See Will (n.)

verb Will
To exercise an act of volition; to choose; to decide; to determine; to decree.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. The capability of conscious choice and decision and intention
  2. A fixed and persistent intent or purpose ("where there's a will there's a way")
  3. A legal document declaring a person's wishes regarding the disposal of their property when they die
  4. Determine by choice ("This action was willed and intended")
  5. Decree or ordain ("God wills our existence")
  6. Leave or give by will after one's death

Shortened from William or, less often, from other given names beginning with Wil-, such as Wilfred or Willard.

  1. A male given name, a shortening of William; also used as a formal given name.
  2. A patronymic surname​.
  3. (American football) A weak-side linebacker.

Notable Persons Named Will

Notable Persons Named Will

Will Smith

Will Smith is an actor, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He was most active from 1985 to present. Will was given the name Willard Carroll Smith, Jr. on September 25th, 1968 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Will is also known as The Fresh Prince.

Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell is an actor, comedian, producer, and writer. His most notable accomplishments were from 1995 to present. Will was given the name John William Ferrell on July 16th, 1967 in Irvine, California.

Will Arnett

Will Arnett is an actor. His ongoing career started in 1996. Will was given the name William Emerson Arnett on May 4th, 1970 in Toronto.

Will Poulter

Will Poulter is an actor. He has been prominent since 2007. Will was given the name William Jack Poulter on January 28th, 1993 in Hammersmith, London, England, United Kingdom.

Will Grigg

Will Grigg is a soccer player for the Wigan Athletic F.C., Birmingham City F.C., Solihull Moors F.C., Stratford Town F.C., Walsall F.C., Brentford F.C., Milton Keynes Dons F.C., Northern Ireland national football team, and Northern Ireland national under-21 football team. Will was born on July 3rd, 1991 in Solihull, England.

Will Forte

Will Forte is an actor, comedian, writer, producer, and voice actor. He was most prominent from 1997 to present. Will was given the name Orville Willis Forte IV on June 17th, 1970 in Alameda County, California, United States. Will is also known as Orville Forte.

  • Will Rogers
    Comedy Film
  • Will Keane
    Soccer Player
  • Will Geer
  • Will Patton
  • Will Chase
  • Will Young
  • Will Champion
  • Will Yun Lee
  • Will Sasso
  • Will Self
  • Will Wright
    Game Design
  • Will Eisner
    Comics Creator
  • Will Allen
    Football Player
  • Will Mellor

Notable Persons With the Last Name Will

Notable Persons With the Last Name Will

George Will

George Will is a columnist, journalist, and author. George was given the name George Frederick Will on May 4th, 1941 in Champaign, Illinois.

Mari Maseng Will

Mari Maseng Will is a White House Communications Director, and 8th Director of the Office of Public Liaison. Mari was born on March 15th, 1954 in Chicago.

Anne Will

Anne Will is an anchorwoman, television journalist, and news presenter. She has been prominent since 1990. Anne was born Anne Will on March 18th, 1966 in Cologne.

John Will

John was born on April 16th, 1957.

Brad Will

Brad Will was an activism, videographer, journalist, and activist. Brad was given the name Bradley Roland Will on June 14th, 1970 in Evanston, Illinois. Brad is also known as Will and Brad. He breathed his last breath on October 27th, 2006.

Joseph Will

Joseph Will is an actor. Joseph was born on November 4th, 1970 in Westminster, Maryland.


Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Will U.S.
  White 91.16% 64.26%
  African American 4.35% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.76% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.26% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.45% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.03% 16.26%

Of Last Name Will

People with the last name Will are most frequently White

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Will

  • What name lists does Will rank for?
  • How Popular is the name Will? Will is the 1,094th most popular name of all time. As a last name Will was the 2,869th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Will have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2019, the Social Security Administration has recorded 45,490 babies born with the first name Will in the United States. That's more than enough people named Will to occupy the territory of Turks and Caicos Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 44,493 (as of July 1, 2012).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Will? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 588 new born babies.
  • When was Will first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Will is Friday, December 2nd, 1864.
  • What year had the most people named Will born? The highest recorded use of the first name Will was in 1888 with a total of 707 babies.
  • Random Will Factoid: According to the 1934 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Will ranks 90th in popularity as a baby boy's name in Mississippi. Imagine that, 44 babies in Mississippi have the same name in 1934.
  • Weird things about the name Will: The name spelled backwards is Lliw. A random rearrangement of the letters in the name (anagram) will give Iwll. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Will? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 12,575 people with the last name Will.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Will? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 4 of them will have Will as their last name.
  • Will name meaning

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