[ klahr-oh ]
/ ˈklɑr oʊ /
Save This Word!

(of cigars) light-colored and, usually, mild.
noun, plural clar·os.
such a cigar.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of claro

1890–95; <Spanish <Latin clārusclear
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What else does claro mean?

While claro literally means “clear” in Spanish and Portuguese, it’s often used to mean “of course” or “naturally” in conversation.

Where does claro come from?

Claro is one of the most useful words in Spanish and Portuguese. It can express emphasis and agreement, as in claro que sí (“yes, of course”). It’s also used as a filler word, like when you’re trying to think about what to say next, perhaps not unlike “sure” in English.

The word claro comes from the Latin word clarus, variously meaning “clear” (as in “clear water”), “light” (as in “light blue”), and “obvious.”

The meaning of claro in Spanish and Portuguese today also carries all of these meanings. That’s why light-colored things are referred to as claro, as in olhos claros (“light-colored eyes”) in Portuguese. Similarly, “clear water,” as in transparent, is agua clara in Spanish.

But when claro is used on its own in a sentence, not as a modifier of a noun, claro usually carries the force of “obviously” or “clearly,” as in Está claro que no te gustan los perros (“It’s clear you don’t like dogs”). As a stand-alone word, it also expresses agreement, as in ¡Claro! Me gustan los perros (“Of course! I like dogs”).    

How is claro used in real life?

Claro is very commonly used in Spanish and Portuguese in all of its senses.

As mentioned above, when claro is used as a stand-alone, it most often expresses agreement. It’s also sometimes used as a filler when you’re not sure exactly what you’re going to use next.

Given the commonness of the term in Spanish and Portuguese, folks speaking Spanglish or Portinglés may sprinkle claro into otherwise English-language sentences, especially for some kind of emphasis or affirmation.

More examples of claro:

“Claro que extraño jugar con Messi [Of course I miss playing with Messi].”
—Xavi Hernández quoted by Pablo Vaca, Clarín, December 2018


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use claro in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for claro

/ (ˈklɑːrəʊ) /

noun plural -ros or -roes
a mild light-coloured cigar

Word Origin for claro

from Spanish: clear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012