From a Latin name, representing the feminine form of the adjective serenus ‘calm, serene’. It was borne by an early Christian saint, about whom little is known. In her biography she is described as wife of the Emperor Domitian (ad 51–96), but there is no mention of her in any of the historical sources that deal with this period. In recent years the name has been associated with the American tennis player Serena Williams (b. 1981).