• (British) IPA: /ˈkaθ(ə)lɪk/, /ˈkɑːθ(ə)lɪk/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈkæθ(ə)lɪk/


  1. Universal; all-encompassing.
    Synonyms: universal, Thesaurus:generic, Thesaurus:comprehensive
    • 1946, Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy, I.29:
      Essentially, and in idea, the empire, in the minds of the Romans, was world-wide. This conception descended to the Church, which was ‘Catholic’ in spite of Buddhists, Confucians, and (later) Muhammadans.
    • 1995, Brian D. Crandall & Peter W. Stahl, Human Digestive Effects on a Micromammalian Skeleton, Journal of Archaeological Science (1995) 22, 789-797:
      This semifossorial mammal tends to reside in areas with herbaceous cover, frequenting runways in the upper soil horizons where it feeds on a highly catholic diet of animal and plant materials […]
  2. Pertaining to all kinds of people and their range of tastes, proclivities etc.; liberal.
    Synonyms: eclectic, Thesaurus:heterogeneous
    • 2003, Simon Winchester, The Meaning of Everything; The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, New York: Oxford University Press. p.72:
      He was omnivorous in his appetite for knowledge, quite catholic in his range of interests […]
  3. Alternative letter-case form of Catholic#English|Catholic

  • IPA: /ˈkæθ(ə)lɪk/, /ˈkɑθ(ə)lɪk/


  1. Of the Western Christian church, as differentiated from e.g. the Orthodox church.
    Christmas is celebrated at different dates in the Catholic and Orthodox calendars.
  2. Of the Roman Catholic church in particular.
    The Church of the Sacred Heart is a Catholic one.
    Catholic churches are built differently than Protestant ones.
  3. Alternative letter-case form of catholic
Translations Translations Noun

catholic (plural catholics)

  1. A member of a Catholic church.
    The wife of the Prime Minister is a Catholic.
    Hypernyms: Christian, Trinitarian
    Coordinate terms: Orthodox#English|Orthodox, Anglican#English|Anglican, Protestant#English|Protestant, Mormon#English|Mormon, Quaker#English|Quaker

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