Maria \m(a)-ria\ as a girl's name is pronounced mah-REE-ah. It is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Maria is "star of the sea". Variant for Mary used in English-speaking countries in the 18th century, and popular with both Spanish and non-Spanish cultures. Revived in the 20th century due to the popularity of "West Side Story", with its famous ballad "Maria". Marie, the French variant, was the preferred form of Mary in England until about the time of the Reformation. Mariah (ma-RYE-ah) has greatly increased in popularity, due to singer Mariah Carey. Maria and Marie are very often blended with other names and suffixes. See also Manon, Mari, Maribel, Marisa, Mia, and Ria. Singer Maria Muldaur; TV journalist Maria Shriver.