Definition of catholic in English:


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


1Including a wide variety of things; all-embracing: her tastes are pretty catholic
More example sentences
  • Anyway, as you can see my musical tastes are somewhere on the eclectic / catholic continuum.
  • The truly curious in the seventeenth century had catholic and eclectic collecting tastes.
  • Conversation was animated and catholic, touching on a wide range of subjects.
general, universal, widespread, global, worldwide, comprehensive, all-encompassing all-embracing, all-inclusive, unlimited
2 (Catholic) Of the Roman Catholic faith.
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  • 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.
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  • 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
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  • 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.


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(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.


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'.



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.

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