Gender Feminine

Meaning & History

Used by Voltaire for the heroine of his tragic play Zaïre (1732), about an enslaved Christian woman who is due to marry the Sultan. She is named Zara in many English adaptations. The name was earlier used by Jean Racine for a minor character (also a slave girl) in his play Bajazet (1672). It is likely based on the Arabic name Zahra.

Related Names

Other Languages & CulturesZaira(Italian) Zaira(Spanish)
Same SpellingZaire
User SubmissionsZaïre, Zaire



Entry updated April 25, 2021