Originally a short form of Kimberley, now established as an independent given name. The hero of Rudyard Kipling's novel Kim (1901) bore the name as a short form of Kimball (a surname used as a given name). In recent years, as a girl's name it has been borne by a number of well-known people, including the film stars Kim Novak (b. 1933) and Kim Basinger (b. 1953).
English: habitational name, probably from Claverley in Shropshire, which is named with Old English clǣfre ‘clover’ + lēah ‘woodland clearing’. Alternatively, it could possibly be from Cleveley in Lancashire (named with Old English clif ‘bank’, ‘slope’ + lēah), with intrusive -r- under the influence of cleverly.