Of Germanic origin.
From two Old High German words: “Maht”, meaning might, strength and a common Germanic name element “hild”, meaning war, battle, “hildr” in Old Norse.
The name was brought to England by the Normans.
St. Matilda, was Matilda of Ringelheim, wife of King Henry I of Germany, also known as Henry the Fowler. The king criticized her for what he considered her extravagant charities. She was venerated as a saint after her death in 968.
Another historical Matilda was Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror. She was crowned queen in 1068 and bore nine children, among them two kings, William II and Henry I.
Matilda was a popular name during the 15th century in England, mostly in the dialect form of Maud.
The name appears in the song “Waltzing Matilda”, a folk song by Banjo Paterson and Christina McPherson, characterized as Australia’s “unofficial national anthem”.
A popular one is fictional Matilda Wormwood, the title character, and protagonist of children’s novel “Matilda” by Roald Dahl. It was also brought to film and directed by Danny DeVito in 1996.
Matilda is a popular name in Denmark, Australia, England and Wales.