Claire Name Meaning

baby girl

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If you're looking for a lovely, traditional, feminine name, consider adding the name Claire to your list. Claire comes from a French word meaning “clear,” “bright,” or “light-colored.”

  • Origin: Clair/Claire is a French adjective meaning “clear,” “light,” or “bright.” It can also be a noun meaning “light,” as in the phrase “clair de lune” (“light of the moon”).
  • Gender: Claire, with an “e” at the end, is the feminine form in French, while Clair would be the masculine form. However, both spellings have been used for both women and men.
  • Pronunciation: klair (rhymes with “stair”)

Although baby names are often separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex need not play any role in your name selection process. It’s important to select the name that you feel best suits your new baby.

How Popular Is the Name Claire?

Claire has been one of the top 500 girl names in the U.S. since 1973, but it has been particularly popular for the past two decades. In 1998, it was ranked at No. 91, appearing in the top 100 for the first time. Since then it has continued to rise, peaking at No. 40 in 2016. The latest statistics show that Claire at the No. 57, among the top 100 names for girls in America.

Although the name Claire is typically used as a girl name, it can be used any way you see fit, as sex does not have to be a part of your name selection process.

Similar Names

Alternate spellings are sometimes seen, such as Clair and Clare. A closely related name is Clara, a Latin-derived name that means “bright” or “clear” just as Claire does in French. The names Clarice and Clarissa are also derived from the same Latin root.

More girl names starting with C:

  • Caitlin
  • Cameron
  • Camille
  • Carla
  • Carolyn
  • Carrie
  • Casey
  • Cassandra
  • Catherine
  • Chloe
  • Christine
  • Cleo
  • Cora
  • Courtney
  • Crystal
  • Cynthia

More girl names derived from French:

  • Annette
  • Audrey
  • Brigitte
  • Céline
  • Elise
  • Genevieve
  • Isabelle
  • Juliette
  • Margot
  • Michelle
  • Nicole
  • Noelle
  • Simone
  • Valerie
  • Vivienne

Suggested Sibling Names

  • Aiden
  • Ava
  • Daniel
  • Emma
  • Harper
  • Isabella
  • James
  • Joseph
  • Kiara
  • Lucas
  • Mia
  • Noah
  • Oliver
  • Olivia
  • Sophia

Famous People Named Claire

These are some of the most notable women with the name Claire:

  • Claire Adams, Canadian-born actress who was a star in the silent film era
  • Claire Baker, Scottish politician currently serving as a Member of the Scottish Parliament
  • Claire Bloom, English actress known for her roles in such films as “Limelight,” “A Doll’s House,” “Clash of the Titans,” and “The King’s Speech”
  • Claire Boucher, Canadian musician known professionally as Grimes
  • Claire Buffie, American photographer who made waves as a Miss America contestant by advocating for gay rights
  • Claire Calvert, English ballet dancer who is a first soloist at the Royal Ballet
  • Claire Coffee, American actress known for appearing in the NBC series “Grimm”
  • Claire Coutinho, English politician who is a conservative Member of Parliament
  • Claire Cupples, Canadian microbiologist
  • Claire Danes, American actress known for her roles in the TV series “My So-Called Life” and “Homeland”
  • Claire Forlani, English actress known for her roles in the films “Mallrats,” “Basquiat,” and “Meet Joe Black”
  • Claire Hodgkins, American virtuoso violinist
  • Claire Holt, Australian actress known for her roles in “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Vampire Diaries”
  • Claire McCardell, American fashion designer credited with the creation of American sportswear
  • Claire McCaskill, American politician who formerly served as U.S. senator from Missouri
  • Claire Sterling, American author and journalist whose work focused on political assassinations and terrorism
  • Claire Sugden, Northern Irish politician
  • Claire Vallée, French chef whose restaurant was the first vegan establishment to win a Michelin star
  • Claire Waldoff, German singer known for subversive cabaret performances in 1910s and 1920s Berlin
  • Claire Ward, English politician who served as a Member of Parliament
  • Claire Saffitz, American food writer who was a contributing editor to “Bon Appétit” magazine and made popular appearances on its YouTube channel

Claire has also been a popular name for men:

  • Claire Alexander, Canadian ice hockey player who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Claire Lee Chennault, American military aviator, known for leading the U.S. Air Force volunteer group nicknamed the “Flying Tigers”
  • Claire E. Hutchin Jr, United States Army lieutenant general
  • Claire Egtvedt, American airplane designer and president of the Boeing company, known for developing the B-17 bomber
  • Claire Konold, American politician who served in the South Dakota House of Representatives
  • Claire L. Straith, American plastic surgeon who advocated for car safety
  • Claire Lawrence, Canadian musician who was a co-founder of the band The Collectors, which later was renamed Chilliwack

Spelled as “Clair”:

  • Clair Bee, American basketball coach and sports novelist
  • Clair George, veteran officer of the Central Intelligence Agency
  • Clair Huffaker, American author
  • Clair Cameron Patterson, American geochemist whose work led to a more accurate calculation of the age of the Earth

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popularity of name.

Additional Reading

By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a lactation consultant and writer covering maternal/child health, parenting, general health and wellness, and mental health. She has worked with breastfeeding parents for over a decade, and is a mom to two boys.