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Claire Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Claire including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Claire Overview

  • Meaning: The name “Claire” (or Clair) is a feminine French name that means “clear,” “bright,” and “famous.”.
  • Gender: Typically female.
  • Origin: “Claire” came from the French word for “clear.”
  • Pronunciation: “Claire” is a one-syllable name commonly pronounced as “KLARE” in most cultures.
  • Popularity: The name “Claire” is very popular. In the United Kingdom, it peaked during the latter half of the 20th century and was even the 2nd most-popular name in 1974.
  • Nicknames: CeeCee, Claire Bear, Claire De Lune, Clairey, Clarity.
  • Variations: Claireen, Clairene, Claireta, Clairette, Clairice, Clairy, Clara, Clarabel, Clarene, Claresta, Claretta, Claritza, Clarrie, Claryce, Clayrinda, Clayrissa, Clerissa, Klaire, Klara, Klaretta.
  • Namesakes: Claire Danes, Clair Denis, Claire Foy.

What Does Claire Mean?

The name “Claire” (or Clair) is a feminine French name that means “clear,” “bright,” and “famous.” It has risen in popularity over the years and crossed into the top-100 most popular names today (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name “Claire”?

“Claire” came from the French word for “clear.” It initially was a popular masculine name and spelled as “Clair,” yet it is now more common for women.

In its early iterations, it was a name held by many religious figures and usually said “Clara.” In the middle ages, it became Anglicized as “Clare” and popularized in England.

How Popular Is the Name Claire?

The name “Claire” is very popular. In the United Kingdom, it peaked during the latter half of the 20th century and was even the 2nd most-popular name in 1974.

Since then, its popularity has declined significantly down to the far end of the top-100 names. Today, it ranks in the top-60 names for girls in the United States (2).

How Do I Pronounce Claire?

Claire is a one-syllable name most commonly pronounced as “KLARE.” It is not mispronounced often and is said mostly the same way in every culture that uses it.

Is Claire a Boy or Girl Name?

For girls, Claire is one of the most recognizable names. It is typically given to female babies these days, though at one point, it was popular for men as well.

Variations of Claire

When names move from one nation to another, such as was the case with “Claire,” they often collect variations. Some of those variants include:

  • Claireen (Latin)
  • Clairene (Latin)
  • Claireta (Latin)
  • Clairette (Latin)
  • Clairice (Latin)
  • Clairy (Latin)
  • Clara (English)
  • Clarabel (Latin)
  • Clarene (Latin)
  • Claresta (Latin)
  • Claretta (Latin)
  • Claritza (Latin)
  • Clarrie(Latin)
  • Claryce (Latin)
  • Clayrinda (Latin)
  • Clayrissa (Latin)
  • Clerissa (Latin)
  • Klaire (Latin)
  • Klara (Hungarian)
  • Klaretta (Latin)

Nicknames for Claire

With so many variants, there are surprisingly few nicknames widely used for the name. Perhaps that is a testament to its clarity and simplicity. Some of the nicknames that do come to mind are:

  • CeeCee
  • Claire Bear
  • Claire De Lune
  • Clairey
  • Clarity

Similar Names to Claire

If Claire isn’t quite the name you’re looking for, but something like it, try any of these names:

Middle Names for Claire

There are also plenty of wonderful names that fit after “Claire.” Some of those might look like this:

Sibling Names for Claire

If you are in search of names that sound good alongside “Claire” for new siblings, we’ve got a few ideas. Try out these options for both genders:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Claire

Many people named “Claire” have broken through to stardom. They range from acting to royalty and everything in between. Some of the most famous Claires are:

  • Claire Buffie: American photographer.
  • Claire Danes: American actress best known for her role as “Juliet” in Baz Luhrman’s “Romeo + Juliet.”
  • Claire Denis: French filmmaker and director known for her movie Beau Travail.
  • Claire Fox: English journalist, writer, and politician.
  • Claire Foy: British actress best known for her role as Queen Elizabeth ll in “The Crown.”
  • Claire McCaskill: American politician in Missouri.
  • Princess Claire of Belgium: English-Belgian land surveyor.

Claire in Popular Culture

Similar to the famous Claires covered above, the name has infiltrated popular culture as well. It is common to find characters with the name on almost any television program or film in both genders. Some of the most notable are:

  • Claire Bennet: A character from the television program “Heroes.”
  • Claire Dearing: The antagonistic character in the film “Jurassic World.”
  • Claire Dunphy: A character from the television series “Modern Family.”
  • Claire Farron: A character nicknamed “Lightning” from the video game “Final Fantasy XIII” and its sequel “Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.”
  • Dr. Claire Finn: A character from the television series “The Orville.”
  • Claire Fisher: A character from the TV program “Six Feet Under.”
  • Claire Standish: A character from the 1980s film “The Breakfast Club.”
  • Claire Stanfield: A character from the Baccano! Book series.

Claire FAQs

In this section, we will look at anything we missed about the name “Claire.” If there are any questions still in your mind, this is where we’ll answer them.

Is Claire a Biblical Name?

No, Claire is not a biblical girl name. It is French and means “clear” but has no origins in religion beyond that.

How Do You Spell Claire in Irish?

Spelling names in the Celtic language is always unique. In Irish, “Claire” is “Clár.” It keeps the same meaning as the French version.

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