रावण: = रावयति भीषयति सर्वानिति (रु + णिच् + ल्युः) – one who cause pain or fear

Similarly there is another adjective used for Ravana called as शत्रुरावण:​ – शत्रून् रावयति क्रोशयति इति

तस्य पुत्रो विशालाक्षि रावणः शत्रुरावणः।
तस्य त्वं राक्षसेन्द्रस्य भार्या भवितुमर्हसि।।5.23.8।।

It is mentioned in Ramayana – Uttarakhand – Sarga 16 , that “Ravana” name was given by Lord Shiva.

Shiva destroyed Ravana’s arrogance

Rishi Augusta narrated this story to Lord Rama, that Dashagriva (दशग्रीव) after defeating Kubera (कुबेर) went to forest of Saravana (शरवण​). There was a mountain and when Ravana’s Pushpaka plane made descend that to that mountain, it stopped and could not move further. When Dashagriva was unable to find the cause there came Lord Nandishwara (नन्दीश्वर) to stop Ravana from entering that forest.

निवर्तस्व दशग्रीव शैले क्रीडति शङ्करः ।
सुपर्णनागयक्षाणां देवगन्धर्वरक्षसाम् ।।
सर्वेषामेव भूतानामगम्यः पर्वतः कृतः ।

Nandishwara told Ravana – Please go away, as this place is reserved for Lord Shankara. Suprana (birds), Nagas (serpents), Yaksha , Devata, Gandharva and Rakshasa are not allowed to come here.

Dashagriva without listening to Lord Nandi, went ahead and decided to uproot the mountain which has blocked his plane. He placed his hand under the mountain and started lifting the same. This caused disturbance to Lord Shiva and Parvati, due to which Shiva decided to teach Ravana a lesson. Lord Shiva knowingly pressed the mountain using his toe upon the ground and the whole mountain fell on top of Ravana’s arm.

रक्षसा तेन रोषाच्च भुजानां पीडनात्तदा ।
मुक्तो विरावः सहसा त्रैलोक्यं येन कम्पितम्

Dashagriva started screaming and crying due to pain in his arms, due to which people of all three world started shaking.

Dashagriva than realized his mistake and with the advise of his ministers started praying to Lord Shiva. Dashagriva continued the praying of Lord Shiva for thousand years and than Lord Shiva appeared before him and said.

प्रीतोऽस्मि तव वीर्यस्य शौण्डार्याच्च दशानन ।
शैलाक्रान्तेन यो मुक्तस्त्वया रावः सुदारुणः ।।
यस्माल्लोकत्रयं चैतद्रावितं भयमागतम् ।
तस्मात्त्वं रावणो नाम नाम्ना राजन्भविष्यसि ।।

Dashanana ! You are brave and I am happy with your courage. The sound you have created after you got stuck under the mountain, and fearing from this sound people of three lokas started crying. Therefore you will be known by the name of “Ravana


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