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Gender: F Meaning of Clarissa: "bright, clear" Origin of Clarissa: Elaboration of Clara Clarissa's Popularity in 2014: #765

Clarissa, the daintier version of Claire, has a long literary history of its own, having been featured in the novels of Samuel Richardson, Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf--Clarissa was the title character of Mrs. Dalloway--not to mention the 1990's TV teen show, Clarissa Explains it All.

Clarissa is a name definitely worth considering as an alternative to the overused Vanessa and Melissa. Appealing diminutives are Clarry and Claris.

Red Cross founder Clara Barton was born Clarissa.

Famous People Named Clarissa

Clarissa "Clara" Harlowe Barton, American nurse; founder of the Red Cross
Clarissa Eden, Countess of Avon, born Anne Clarissa Spencer-Churchill
Clarissa Davis, American basketball player
Clarissa Caroline Decker, 6th wife of American Mormon leader Brigham Young
Clarissa Cordelia "Clara" Moses Cannon, American Mormon counselor
Clarissa Kyoko Mei Ling Chun, American Olympic wrestler
Clarissa Eshuis, New Zealand field hockey player
Clarissa Ward, American TV journalist
Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, English novelist

Pop Culture References for the name Clarissa

Clarissa Dalloway, title character of "Mrs Dalloway" (1925) by Virginia Woolf
Clarissa Darling, main character on TV's "Clarissa Explains It All"
Clarissa Harlowe, beautiful and saintly heroine of the novel "Clarissa; or, the History of a Young Lady" (1747-8) by Samuel Richardson
Clarissa "Clary" Fray/ Fairchild/ Morgenstern, main character in Cassandra Clare's "The Mortal Instruments" series
Clarissa von Reckwitz, main character in 1941 German film "Clarissa"
Clarissa Alpert, character on TV miniseries "Maneater"
Clarissa Worthington Howe, minor character in L. A. Meyer's "Bloody Jack" series
Clarissa Saunders, Mr. Smith's cynical secretary in film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" "She called me Clarissa"
Clarissa, character on TV's "Reign"