Elaboration of Clara
"bright, clear"

Clarissa Origin and Meaning

The name Clarissa is a girl's name of German, Latin origin meaning "bright, clear".

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 1990s teen sitcom, 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.

# in the US

Clarissa Rank in US Top 1000

# 836 on Nameberry

Clarissa Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Clarissa Popularity

Famous People Named Clarissa

  • Clarissa "Clara" Harlowe BartonAmerican nurse; founder of the Red Cross
  • (Anne) Clarissa (SpencerChurchill) Eden, Countess of Avon
  • Clarissa DavisAmerican basketball player
  • Clarissa Caroline Decker6th wife of American Mormon leader Brigham Young
  • Clarissa Cordelia "Clara" Moses CannonAmerican Mormon counselor
  • Clarissa Kyoko Mei Ling ChunAmerican Olympic wrestler
  • Clarissa EshuisNew Zealand field hockey player
  • Clarissa WardAmerican TV journalist
  • Clarissa Miriam BowersAmerica's Miss World 2017
  • Agatha Mary Clarissa ChristieEnglish novelist

Clarissa in Pop Culture

  • Clarissa Dallowaytitle character of "Mrs. Dalloway" (1925) by Virginia Woolf
  • Clarissa Darlingmain character on TV's "Clarissa Explains It All"
  • Clarissa Harlowebeautiful and saintly heroine of the novel "Clarissa; or, the History of a Young Lady" (1747,8) by Samuel Richardson
  • Clarissa Adele "Clary" Fairchildmain character in Cassandra Clare's "The Mortal Instruments" series
  • Clarissa von Reckwitzmain character in 1941 German film "Clarissa"
  • Clarissa Alpertcharacter on TV miniseries "Maneater"
  • Clarissa Worthington Howeminor character in L. A. Meyer's "Bloody Jack" series
  • Clarissa SaundersMr. Smith's cynical secretary in film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "She called me Clarissa"
  • Clarissacharacter on TV's "Reign"
  • Clarissa Steincharacter on TV's "The Flash"
  • The Honerable Clarissa Cartercharacter in Enid Blyton's "Malory Towers" series