Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: debated; most likely “ornament/jewel of God.”
(AH-dee-el; ENG. AY-dee-el)
This is the name of 3 minor characters in the Bible, one is the name of the father of Maasai, a Cohen (or Jewish priest), the other is the name of the head of the tribe of Simeon, and the 3rd is the father of Azmaveth who was a treasurer under King David. All of the aforementioned appear in the Book of Chronicles.
As for its meaning, it has traditionally been believed to mean “ornament of God; jewel of God,” being composed of the Hebrew (עדה) adi meaning “ornament” or “jewel” and אל (‘el) pertaining to elohim. However, the first element may actually relate to the root word אל (ad) meaning “witness” and also “forever; eternity,” and “booty.” The same root word also relates to “congregation, community, parish, denomination; swarm, flock.” Somehow, the original root word of all of the above are related. Compare the name to the modern Hebrew Unisex name Adi עדי (jewel, ornament).
Among non-Jews, the name has been in use across Europe since the Protestant Reformation, around the 16th-century. It has been in occasional use in Scandinavia, Finland, the Netherlands, U.K, the Americas and Australia. It has come in recent use in Latin America as well.
Ironically the name was not revived among Jews until modern times. There doesn’t seem to be any records for this name among Jews from Medieval Times to pre-WWII in Europe, the Ottoman Empire or the Middle East. It seems to have become widespread after the creation of Israel in 1948. Since the 1960s, its French feminine form of Adielle has appeared in occasional use among Jews in French-speaking countries such as France and Canada.
Another form is the Dutch Adiël (male) and Adiëlle (female).
Modern Hebrew female forms include Adiela (also Spanish) and Adielit.