Zara Name Meaning

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What Does Zara Mean?

Zara is a girl’s name meaning "radiance." The name Zara has multiple origins, but most notably it is a variation of Zahrah, a name derived from Arabic roots meaning “blooming flower.”

Zara is also considered to be diminutive of the Bulgarian name Zaharina, which is a feminine form of the masculine name Zechariah, a Hebrew name meaning ‘God remembers.’ Zara is also the name of the well-known Spanish-owned clothing retailer, but that doesn’t take away from the charm of this beautiful and somewhat uncommon name.

  • Origin: Zara has both Arabic and Hebrew origins.
  • Gender: Zara is most commonly a girl’s name, a derivative of Zahrah.
  • Pronunciation: Zar-ah

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

How Popular Is the Name Zara?

The name Zara has grown slightly more popular in the U.S. over the past decade, placing it in its top position in 2020 when it reached No. 215, according to the Social Security Administration. The name Zara is commonly used in Australia, England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland where it regularly places in the top 100 names.

The popularity in the U.K. is likely linked to the fact that Princess Anne broke royal tradition and gave her daughter this Arabic name in 1981, thus boosting the name Zara into instant upper-class status.

Name Variations

For those considering the name Zara, you might also like some of the following variations: 

  • Zarah
  • Zaira
  • Zahara
  • Zahra
  • Zahrah

Similar Names

If you like the name Zara, you might also appreciate some of these similar names:

  • Cara (Irish; English)
  • Isla (Scottish)
  • Mara (Hebrew)
  • Sadie (Hebrew)
  • Sara (Hebrew) 
  • Sarai (Hebrew)
  • Seira (Japanese)
  • Tara (Irish)
  • Violet (Latin)
  • Zora (Slavic)

Other girls' names starting with Z:

  • Zain
  • Zaina
  • Zaria
  • Zendaya
  • Zia
  • Zina
  • Zoe
  • Zuri
  • Zyla
  • Zyra

Zara is believed to be a variation of the Arabic name Zahrah. Here are some other Arabic girls’ names, along with their meanings:  

  • Alia (from heaven)
  • Elham (inspiring)
  • Farah (joy)
  • Iesha (one who is alive)
  • Jamila (gorgeous woman)
  • Kamaria (the moon)
  • Lina (little palm tree)
  • Lupe (from the wolves river)
  • Nura (filled with light)
  • Salma (safe and peaceful)

Common Nicknames

The name Zara might lead to the following nicknames:

  • Zar: The name Zar is a boy’s name with Burmese, Sanskrit, and Persian roots. It means "lace" and "neighbor." It’s short and sweet and it’s an obvious go-to for someone named Zara. 
  • Zee: This is the American pronunciation of the letter Z. This is a super cute way to shorten the name Zara. 

Suggested Sibling Names

Are you looking for some names that pair well with Zara? Perhaps you'll find the perfect sibling name here:

  • Ada (German) 
  • Belle (French)
  • Finley (Scottish) 
  • Ivy (Greek)
  • Kenzie (Scottish) 
  • Kane (Hawaiian)
  • Kaia (Greek)
  • Lanah (Hawaiin) 
  • Maeve (Irish, Gaelic)
  • Meena(Hindi, Sanskrit)
  • Max (German) 
  • Nixon (English, Scottish, Irish)
  • Rylan (English)
  • Shea (Irish)
  • Zack (Hebrew)

Famous People Named Zara

Here is a list of well-known people named Zara from around the world:

  • Zara Abid, Pakistani model
  • Zara Aldana, Filipina celebrity
  • Zara Bate, Australian fashion designer
  • Zara Cully, American actress
  • Zara Davis, English windsurfer
  • Zara Dawson, English actress and television presenter
  • Zara Larsson, Swedish singer
  • Zara Levina, Ukrainian pianist and composer
  • Zara Noor Abbas, Pakistani actress
  • Zara Nelsova, Canadian cellist
  • Zara Northover, Jamaican shot putter
  • Zahra Rock, Comedian Chris Rock’s daughter
  • Zara Tindall (Phillips), equestrian, olympian, daughter of Princess Anne

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 a name.

By Shannon Day
Shannon Day is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, lifestyle, and women's humor. She has been published in several online parenting and lifestyle sites as well as in print. Shannon is also the co-author of Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!