It is found in the Bible's Old Testament Books of Chronicles. Dara was a biblical descendant of Judah known for his wisdom. As a Hebrew name it may mean "pearl of wisdom" or "wisdom and compassion", although in Modern Hebrew dara is part of the verb "to live", and in Aramaic it means "pearl", "father-of-pearl" or "marble".
In Cambodian Khmer, Dara is a boy's name meaning "star". In Turkish and in Punjabi, Dara means "leader". In Persian Dara (Persian: دارا) means "wealthy" and is a boy's name (). In the Kiswahili version Dara means "the beautiful one". Dara also means "boy" in Indonesian.
Dara is also frequently used in Ireland (and the United States), as either a male or a female given name, and it also occurs as a surname. The spelling varies, with variations including Dara, Daire and Darragh. The Irish form is probably derived from doire, the Irish word for "oak tree", though as a surname it may be a version of the Irish name Mac Dubhdara.
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