The name comes directly from the French word for dove and despite it being a modern word, it is an ancient French female name.
It was borne by a 3rd-century Christian martyr and saint who had been killed in Sens.
Traditionally, the name was always more common in Corsica, but has recently risen in popularity in other parts of France. As of 2009, she was the 495th most popular female name in France.
Sainte-Colombe is a term in French used to describe the Holy Spirit.
An obscure masculine form is Colomb.