Clara Name Meaning

A vintage classic that’s been slowly creeping up in popularity, Clara is no doubt beautiful. Meaning “bright and clear,” she has some seriously stunning roots to rest on.

In her history, you’ll find all sorts of amazing associations like suffragist Clara Arthur, civil rights leader Clara Luper, and founder of the American Red Cross Clara Barton. Some may also recognize her from The Nutcracker, as the young heroine of the famous ballet. She’s also a Disney name, appearing as Clara Cluck, the chicken in Mickey Mouse cartoons.

Clara is undeniably mature, a touch more refined than her shorter sister Clare. At the same time, she can be dressed down with it as a nickname or Clary. While she is sophisticated, she’s not at all stuffy, wearing perfectly well on a young girl. She evokes images of lace and tulle, a delicate name that’s right at home playing dress up in childhood or gracing the runway as an adult.

Unlike many of the trendy picks of today, Clara isn’t plagued with alternate spellings other than Klara, a variant more preferred in Europe than stateside. Parents that are looking for something a little longer can check out Clarabel and Clarabeth, two unique ways to honor a Clara or similar pick.

Infographic of Clara name meaning, which is Clara is derived from the Latin clarus, meaning bright and clear.
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Clara Name Popularity

How popular is the name Clara? Here’s everything we know.

  • In 2018 Clara was the 102nd most popular girls name, representing 0.2089% of girl births in the U.S.

  • Since 1910 Clara has been the 174th most popular girls name, representing 0.1407% of girl births in the U.S.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 32 2,649 0.7524%
1911 33 2,681 0.72%
1912 34 3,473 0.6887%
1913 36 3,623 0.639%
1914 37 4,240 0.6084%
1915 38 5,285 0.5817%
1916 39 5,543 0.5738%
1917 41 5,625 0.5623%
1918 43 5,774 0.538%
1919 43 5,398 0.5155%
1920 44 5,463 0.4913%
1921 45 5,605 0.4895%
1922 47 5,124 0.4599%
1923 49 5,131 0.4581%
1924 56 4,988 0.4295%
1925 55 4,769 0.4219%
1926 61 4,459 0.4054%
1927 63 4,363 0.3942%
1928 65 4,100 0.3832%
1929 65 4,137 0.3994%
1930 64 4,116 0.394%
1931 61 3,895 0.3946%
1932 70 3,558 0.3601%
1933 67 3,406 0.3656%
1934 76 3,215 0.3326%
1935 81 3,052 0.3141%
1936 91 2,671 0.2773%
1937 100 2,561 0.2599%
1938 97 2,642 0.2581%
1939 103 2,439 0.2398%
1940 111 2,302 0.2166%
1941 112 2,271 0.2018%
1942 122 2,224 0.1761%
1943 133 2,064 0.1581%
1944 134 1,919 0.1548%
1945 135 1,778 0.1458%
1946 145 1,893 0.1283%
1947 151 1,919 0.115%
1948 158 1,774 0.1111%
1949 168 1,695 0.1054%
1950 178 1,543 0.0958%
1951 186 1,524 0.0899%
1952 196 1,481 0.0848%
1953 214 1,351 0.0763%
1954 234 1,148 0.0628%
1955 225 1,271 0.0691%
1956 248 1,117 0.0591%
1957 259 1,077 0.056%
1958 276 991 0.0524%
1959 287 957 0.0504%
1960 313 873 0.0461%
1961 313 849 0.045%
1962 334 751 0.0409%
1963 347 706 0.0393%
1964 357 663 0.0377%
1965 379 540 0.033%
1966 383 522 0.0334%
1967 411 469 0.0309%
1968 471 370 0.0246%
1969 465 388 0.0252%
1970 528 315 0.0198%
1971 526 303 0.0202%
1972 490 319 0.0234%
1973 511 291 0.0224%
1974 532 271 0.0209%
1975 519 295 0.023%
1976 559 255 0.0198%
1977 586 249 0.0185%
1978 594 238 0.0177%
1979 552 291 0.0206%
1980 518 335 0.0229%
1981 574 274 0.0186%
1982 581 265 0.0177%
1983 608 237 0.0161%
1984 585 265 0.0178%
1985 553 311 0.0205%
1986 523 350 0.0232%
1987 516 362 0.0237%
1988 521 381 0.0244%
1989 539 382 0.0237%
1990 517 412 0.0249%
1991 462 490 0.0301%
1992 464 492 0.0308%
1993 425 550 0.0353%
1994 429 547 0.0356%
1995 394 631 0.0419%
1996 399 631 0.0421%
1997 411 600 0.0406%
1998 371 731 0.0488%
1999 371 757 0.0505%
2000 353 844 0.0552%
2001 324 929 0.0617%
2002 301 1,007 0.0672%
2003 294 1,027 0.0675%
2004 285 1,142 0.0749%
2005 243 1,312 0.0858%
2006 231 1,478 0.0944%
2007 225 1,533 0.0972%
2008 203 1,628 0.1053%
2009 198 1,633 0.1093%
2010 167 1,832 0.1271%
2011 150 2,065 0.1449%
2012 136 2,333 0.1637%
2013 131 2,493 0.1751%
2014 109 2,845 0.1953%
2015 98 3,057 0.2101%
2016 99 3,059 0.2122%
2017 95 3,013 0.2159%
2018 102 2,870 0.2089%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Clara

If you like Clara, you’ll love these other names like Clara.


What names are diminutives of Clara?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Clara sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Clara, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Claire

Clear and bright

French

#49 (0.3187%)  
Clare

Bright, famous

Latin

#724 (0.0221%)  
Clarie

Bright, famous

Latin


What names are variants of Clara?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Clara.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Chiara

Bright, famous

Latin

#1,257 (0.0075%)  
Clarabelle

Bright, famous

Latin

#3,369 (0.0004%)  
Claramae

English

Claretha

Bright, famous

Latin

Claribel

Bright; beautiful

English

Clarice

A variant form of Clara.

Latin

#3,471 (0.0004%)  
Clarinda

A variant form of Clara.

Latin

Clarine

Bright, famous

Latin

Clarissa

Bright, famous

Latin

#697 (0.0242%)  
Clarita

Bright, famous

Latin

Claritza

Bright, famous

Latin

Clarrie

Bright, famous

Latin

Clarry

Bright, famous

Latin

Kiara

Black

Irish

#327 (0.067%)  
Klara

Hungarian

#1,469 (0.0052%)  
Klarra

Bright, famous

Latin


What names sound like Clara?

If you like how Clara sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Clara.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Cara

Beloved; friend

Latin

#817 (0.0186%)  
Chloe

Green sprout

Greek

#25 (0.4823%)  
Cleo

“The celebrated one,” from the Greek kleo, make known or famous.

Greek

#1,039 (0.0115%)  
Cora

Maiden

Greek

#73 (0.2601%)  
Farrah

Good-looking

English

#930 (0.0148%)  
Keira

Black

Irish

#347 (0.0605%)  
Kiera

Lord

Greek

#794 (0.0195%)  
Kyra

Lord

Greek

#585 (0.0319%)  
Lara

Protection

Latin

#707 (0.0229%)  
Tara

Hill; star

Indian (Sanskrit)

#912 (0.0154%)  

What names are similar to Clara?

Find a name that’s like Clara, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Bethany

House of figs

Hebrew

#461 (0.0446%)  
Caroline

Free woman

French

#55 (0.3004%)  
Diana

Heavenly and divine

Latin

#178 (0.1159%)  
Eliza

God is my oath

English

#128 (0.1634%)  
Helena

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

#446 (0.0465%)  
Jessa

He sees

Hebrew

#1,017 (0.0121%)  
Julia

Youthful and downy

Latin

#92 (0.217%)  
Lucia

Of the light

Italian

#180 (0.1148%)  
Lydia

From Lydia

Greek

#89 (0.2312%)  
Melanie

Black

Greek

#104 (0.2051%)  

Lists With Clara

Find inspiration in these baby girl name lists featuring the name Clara.


Siblings of Clara

Mamas with kids named Clara also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Samuel

Name of God

Hebrew

#21 (0.7085%)  
Felicity

Happiness

Latin

#338 (0.0633%)  
Alonso

Ready for battle

Spanish

#744 (0.0181%)  
Lucia

Of the light

Italian

#180 (0.1148%)  
Rowan

Of the rowan tree

Gaelic

#204 (0.1047%)  
Theodore

God's gift

Greek

#44 (0.511%)  
Augustus

Great, magnificient

Latin

#458 (0.0429%)  
June

Month of June

Latin

#236 (0.0955%)  
Nicolas

Victory of the people

Greek

#192 (0.151%)  
Mathilde

Mighty in battle

German

#3,388 (0.0004%)  

12 Comments

  1. She is named after her great-grandfathers, Clarence and James. Clara James is her name.

  2. We named our baby Clara after my husband’s great grandmother who was a
    strong, spunky German woman and also because it’s a good classic name and we just liked it.

  3. We chose Clara because I love the name and it is also my Grandmothers name. I love the older more traditional names versus these new age names that are coming out now.

  4. A famous female classical composer girls named Clara and I like the femininity of the name

  5. Love it.
    A few children the same age are named the same way.

  6. I was a ballerina all of my life and was in the Nutcracker and always loved the Nutcracker and Clara is the main character in it. Also, my middle name is Claire so a little spin off of that too. ?

  7. It was my grandmothers name & I always thought it was beautiful. We’ve gotten lots of compliments on it.

  8. We love classic names. Claire was a consideration (also beautiful) but we prefer names slightly less common without being too unusual. Clara was perfect. We find it to be simple, elegant, classic and beautiful with a grateful nod to previous generations. It’s perfect for our daughter!

  9. We thought it was a beautiful name and that’s about it! We heard it from Clara Cannucciari, a YouTube channel where a 90+ woman shared her Great Depression videos.

  10. Classic and beautiful, but not overused or terribly common. A feminine alternative to Claire. Means “light” or “clear” and she is a light to our lives.

  11. I chose the name Clara because I like “old fashioned names”. It’s a simple and classic name. I wanted a name that wasn’t super popular, but also wasn’t too unique. I love my baby girl’s name!

  12. My son’s middle name is Augustus, named after a main character in the Western book/movie Lonesome Dove. Clara is another main character in Lonesome Dove who selflessly loves and nurses her husband on his death bed. She cares for the homestead, farm, and even catches a baby at home and adopts the baby as her own. She is a true woman and we love that we are raising some Western character children.


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