C names, Emotion/Feelings, Female, Greek mythology, Joy, Literature, Mythology, Nature, Physical Attributes, Place names, Proto-Indo-European, Virtues/Attributes, Word names


Carissa is a variant spelling of Charissa, itself an elaborated form of Charis which comes from Ancient Greek meaning “grace, kindness, beauty, elegance” derived from khaírō (to be happy) from Proto-Hellenic *kʰəřřō (to rejoice) ultimately derived from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰer- (to yearn for).In Greek mythology, a Charis refers to one of the Charites, referring to some minor goddesses (also known as the Graces) of charm, beauty, grace, joy, adornment,nature, festivity, human creativity and fertility. Charissa was used by English poet Edmund Spenser for his epic poem The Faerie Queen, an allegorical work celebrating the rule of Queen Elizabeth I. It was published between 1590 and 1596 though he died before he could finish the entirety of the poem. Carissa is also a Latin word meaning “artful woman” via carissus (sly, cunning, artful, crafty).

Carissa is also the name of a genus of shrubs and small trees native to tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia as well as the name of an ancient town in Galatia, Turkey and another in Spain. I’ve also seen Carissa listed as an elaborated form of Cara which comes from the Italian word cara meaning “dear, sweetheart, beloved” derived from PIE *keh₂- (to desire, wish).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European



  • Charissa (English)
  • Charis (Ancient Greek, English)
  • Karissa (English)
  • Karis (English)
  • Caris (English)
  • Haris (Modern Greek)
  • Carisa (English, Latin)


Male forms:

  • Chares (Ancient Greek)
  • Haris (Modern Greek)
  • Khariton (Russian)
  • Chariton (Ancient Greek)


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