The name Clarissa is a girl's name of German, Latin origin meaning "bright, clear". Clarissa is ranked #678 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Girly Girl Baby Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".
From the experts:
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.