The name Kari ranked 975th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of 2000-2003 Social Security Administration statistics and 416th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
This name makes a strong showing in state popularity data of the 1970s, but makes few (if any) appearances on lists compiled after that period.
This meaning assumes the source name was derived from the Greek term katharos. However, it may have evolved from Hecate, the name of the Greek goddess of magic. Another possible source is katateinô, the Greek word for torture.
All three meanings might have been associated with St. Aikaterine (Katherine) of Alexandria, who was born a pagan but died as a Christian martyr.