"bright, clear"

Clara Origin and Meaning

The name Clara is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "bright, clear".

Clara is a strong, lovely girls' name that's always ranked among the US Top 1000 girl names but has been climbing since the turn of this century. It now ranks right around Number 100, making it a modern classic that's neither too popular nor unfamiliar.

Long relegated to an Olde World backwater, the European-flavored Clara was long less fashionable than sleeker sister Claire. Now, though the vintage chic Clara is still less popular, it's arguably the more stylish of the two names.

Clara was a Top 10 name in the 1880's, at one time associated with the silent screen 'It Girl,' Clara Bow, and before that with German musician and composer Clara Schumann and Red Cross founder Clara Barton, who was born Clarissa.

Clara is beloved for her leading role in The Nutcracker ballet and as Heidi's invalid friend. Actor Ewan McGregor was an early celebrity adopter of the name for one of his daughters.

Other Clara variations you might want to consider include Clarissa and Clarina, though Clarabelle seems still fit mainly for cows.

# 99 in the US

Clara Rank in US Top 1000

# 7 on Nameberry

Clara Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Clara Popularity

Famous People Named Clara

  • Clara Francisca NunesBrazilian samba singer
  • Clara Gordon BowAmerican actress
  • Clara Ellen ButtEnglish operatic contralto
  • Clara ReadEnglish actress
  • Clara Josephine (Wieck) SchumannGerman composer and pianist
  • Clara Louise MaassAmerican nurse
  • Clarissa Harlowe "Clara" BartonAmerican pioneering nurse
  • Clara Hamilton HarrisAmerican socialite
  • Clara BlandickAmerican actress
  • Clara AlonsoSpanish model
  • Clara Langhorne ClemensAmerican contralto
  • Clara ChungAmerican guitarist and singer
  • Clara Mae Shepard LuperAmerican civil rights leader
  • Clara HughesCanadian Olympic cyclist and speed skater
  • Clara HaskilRomanian pianist
  • Clara Lee (Sungmin), British,South Korean actress and model
  • Clara EdwardsAmerican pianist and composer
  • Isabella Clara Eugeniasovereign of the Spanish Netherlands
  • Clara MuhammadAmerican wife of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad
  • Clara WardAmerican gospel singer of The Ward Singers
  • Clara DriscollAmerican philanthropist
  • Clara Hagopian Jobsmother Steve Jobs
  • Clara Lukasiakyounger sister of reality TV personality Chloe Lukasiak of TV's "Dance Moms"
  • Clara Balzary (b. 1988)daughter of musician Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Clara Mathilde McGregor (b. 1996)daughter of actor Ewan McGregor
  • Clara Enola Wire (b. 2002)daughter of musician Nicky Wire of the Manic Street Preachers
  • Clara Thomas (b. 2009)daughter of TV journalist Nina Hossain and Stuart Thomas
  • Clara Saltykova (b. 2012)daughter of actors Inga Strelkova,Ooldina and Vitaly Saltykov
  • Clara EsquerdoSpanish rhythmic gymnast
  • Clara Elizabeth So (b. 2016)daughter of actress Anna Chlumsky and Shaun So
  • Clara Jane Griffiths (b. 2018)daughter of YouTube vloggers Emily & Beau Griffiths of 'A Griffiths Life Vlogs'
  • Clara Eloise Jordan (b. 2019)daughter of American actor and singer Jeremy Jordan & American actress, singer, and dancer Ashley Spencer
  • Clara RockmoreLithuanian musician
  • Clara SchumannGerman pianist and composer

Clara in Pop Culture

  • Clara Stahlbaummain character in ballet The Nutcracker
  • Clara Clayton Browncharacter in movie "Back to the Future Part III"
  • Clara Dudleycharacter in "The Haunting of Hill House"
  • Claraa character in musical "Passion"
  • Clara Bodencharacter in White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  • Clara Allencharacter in Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove"
  • Clara Durrantcharacter in Virginia Woolf's "Jacob's Room"
  • Clara Bishopcharacter in Royals book series by Geneva Lee
  • Princess Claracharacter in animated TV series "Drawn Together"
  • Clara Gardnermain character in the Unearthly series
  • Clara Beanecharacter in The Guild web series
  • Claracharacter in Bob Dylan's 1975 film "Renaldo and Clara"
  • Claracharacter in E. T. A. Hoffmann's "Der Sandmann"
  • Clara Bellecharacter in the video game "MySims"
  • Clara Varnera main character in "The Long, Hot Summer"
  • Clara Oswalda companion on TV's "Doctor Who"
  • Clara Radleycharacter from The Radleys by Matt Haig
  • Claraa character from the British TV series "The Paradise"
  • Clara Edwardscharacter on "The Andy Griffith Show"
  • Clara Cluckmember of Mickey Mouse's original farmyard gang
  • Clara Sesemanncharacter in book/movie "Heidi"
  • Aunt Claracharacter on TV's "Bewitched"
  • María Clara de los Santosmain character in "Noli Me Tangere" by José Rizal
  • Clara Wheelercharacter on TV miniseries "Into the West"
  • Clara Callenmother of G Callen on TV's "NCIS: Los Angeles"
  • Clara Buhalmetcharacter in "Fran Bow"
  • "Clara"song by progressive bluegrass band Punch Brothers
  • Clara Drosselmayermain character in animated movie "Barbie in the Nutcracker"
  • Clara Nightingalecharacter in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir
  • Clara Johnsonmain character of opera,musical "The Light in the Piazza"
  • ClaraSpanish Vocaloid

Clara in Nameberry Blog Posts