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What does Clarissa mean?

Clarissa Pronunciation of Clarissa [claris-sa] as a girls' name is pronounced kla-RISS-ah. It is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Clarissa is "most bright, most famous". Latin version of Clarice occasionally found in medieval documents and made famous by Samuel Richardson's novel "Clarissa", also known as "the History of a Young Lady" (1748).

Associated with: bright (light), medieval, novel (literary), young, lady (noble).


Clarissa has 24 variants: Clairesa, Clairessa, Clairissa, Clara, Clare, Clarecia, Claresa, Claressa, Clarica, Claris, Clarisa, Clarisse, Clarissia, Clariza, Clarrie, Clarrisa, Clarrissa, Clarry, Classie, Clerissa, Clorissa, Klarisa, Klarissa and Klarrisa.

Related girl names: Charissa and Claire.

5 more alternative forms via Clarice: Clarise, Clerisse, Clerysse, Klarise and Klarysa.

Creative forms:


Middle name pairings:
Clarissa Emerald (C.E.), ..

How popular is Clarissa?

Clarissa is a very prominent first name for females (#744 out of 4276, Top 17%) but an unusual last name for both adults and children. (2000 U.S. Census)

Clarissa reached its peak position of #236 in the U.S. in the year 1994, and is currently at #700. (Top Baby Names, 2015)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Clarissa name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Clarissa outside U.S.

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related girl names. Popular variation forms of Clarissa (#700 from recent data) are Charissa, Claire (#49 from recent data), Clara (#98), Clare (#730), Clarice, Claris, Clarisa, Classie and Klarissa. These relations of Clarissa were favored by parents in the 1880s (median #1095) and have become much less common since (#1357, down 71%). Claire is the all-time favorite, although Clare appears to be gaining popularity too, while forms like Clarisa are now somewhat dated.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Clarissa, Charissa, Claire, Clara, Clare in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Clarice, Claris, Clarisa, Classie, Klarissa in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Claire, Clara outside U.S.

Similar Names

Clarissa is pronounced similarly to Clayrissa, Klarisza and Klaryssa. Other suggested similar names are Alaricka (see Alarice), Amarissa, Blaisia, Calissa, Calista, Calyssa, Caresa, Caress, Caresse, Carinna, Carissa, Carita, Carlisa, Carlisia, Carlista, Carressa (see Caresse), Carrisa, Cearia, Cerisse, Charis, Charish, Charisma, Charisse, Charista, Charita, Charysse, Cherisa, Chloris, Christa, Clairinda, Clareta, Claretha, Clari, Clarie, Claritza, Claryce, Clayrice, Corissa, Coryssa, Cressa, Crista, Czarina, Ellissa, Floressa, Ilissa, Janissa, Karisa, Karisha, Karissa, Karisse, Krissa, Lacrissa, Larisha, Larissa, Laryssa, Lorissa, Maressa, Marisa, Marissa, Maritsa, Marlissa, Maryssa, Maurissa, Morissa, Narissa, Narkissa, Narsissa, Naryssa, Parissa, Sarissa, Sharisa and Vanissa. These names tend to be less frequently used than Clarissa.

See names
in meaning and etymology.