Definition of catholic in English:


Line breaks: cath|olic
Pronunciation: /ˈkaθ(ə)lɪk


  • 2 (Catholic) Of the Roman Catholic faith.
    More example sentences
    • The two principles that guided his life and career were a deep Catholic faith and Catalan nationalism.
    • Believing in the authenticity of such apparitions is not even a requirement of Catholic faith.
    • Since 1854, the immaculate conception has been an essential dogma of the Catholic faith.
  • 2.1Of or including all Christians.
    More example sentences
    • To the extent this is true, it is a betrayal of the universal and catholic mission of Orthodoxy.
  • 2.2Relating to the historic doctrine and practice of the Western Church: the Church of England must not compromise its Catholic principles
    More example sentences
    • One reason, no doubt, was the Oxford Movement and its revival of Catholic practice.
    • Actually they seem to argue more accurately for certain heresies than they do for the Catholic doctrines.
    • Moreover, far from being a heretic, he loyally endorsed the essentials of Catholic doctrine.


Back to top  
  • (Catholic) A member of the Roman Catholic Church.
    More example sentences
    • Under the law of the church, remarried Catholics are prohibited from communion.
    • In such a church, no one could seriously hope to control what Catholics read and hear.
    • Traditionally, Catholics see their church as partner of the state, not part of it.



Pronunciation: /kaθəˈlɪsɪti/
More example sentences
  • The breadth of catholicity that marked the magisterial reformers has often been lost sight of in the vain attempt to narrow the reformed faith into one doctrinal and ecclesiological expression.
  • How can one determine the extent of Luther's catholicity without first defining the norms according to which one would render judgment?
  • Her catholicity is mirrored in the scope of the works commissioned from her, ranging from a string quartet for the Tokyo Quartet to a concerto for the violist Paul Neubauer.


late Middle English (in sense 2 of the adjective): from Old French catholique or late Latin catholicus, from Greek katholikos 'universal', from kata 'in respect of' + holos 'whole'.

More definitions of catholic

Definition of catholic in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little