🔼The name Kiriath in the Bible
The name Kiriath occurs on its own only once in the Bible. It occurs many times as an element of a larger name and is closely kindred to the name קריות (Kerioth), which is endowed with an inconsequential letter waw and has the same meaning.
Kiriath is the name of one of the fourteen cities that were situated in the territory allotted to the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:28). Some commentators (Alfred Jones — Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) believe that this Kiriath is the same as Kiriath-jearim, which is mentioned among the markers of the land of Benjamin, but the text clearly indicates that although Kiriath-jearim marked the border, it was assigned to Judah.
Some commentators (Jones again) believe that Joshua 18:28 speaks not of just Kiriath but Kiriath-arim, as does Ezra 2:25 (while Nehemiah 7:29 reads Kiriath-jearim). The word ערים (arim) looks like a contracted form of יערים (jearim), but is in this case probably a plural of the word עיר ('ir), which is the Bible's common word for city. In Joshua 18:28 ערים (arim) is probably part of the formula "ערים (= cities) + a number + חצרי־הן (= their villages)," which occurs all over the Book of Joshua (15:32, 15:36, 15:41, 15:45, et cetera).
🔼Etymology of the name Kiriath
The name Kiriath is an older variant of the Biblical noun קריה (qiryah), meaning city. It derives of the verb קרה (qara), meaning to meet or get together:
For a meaning of the name Kiriath, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads City. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names doesn't treat Kiriath separately but translates it as City in every compound name it occurs. BDB Theological Dictionary also doesn't treat Kiriath separately but lists it under Kiriath-jearim, which BDB translates with City Of Forests.