In a posting on its official website the zoo said the name translates from Mandarin Chinese into English as "treasure" or "precious."
Bao Bao was born 100 days ago and will make her public debut next month.
More than 123,000 votes were cast online from Nov. 5-22, with people choosing from five possible names.
Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough, Ambassador Cui Tiankai of the People's Republic of China and State Department Assistant Secretary Kerri-Ann Jones revealed her name at a ceremony celebrating the cub's first 100 days of life, a Chinese custom.
When Bao Bao turns 4 years old, the giant panda will be moved to the China Conservation and Research Center in Wolong.
Giant pandas are an endangered species.