Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of broad or liberal scope; comprehensive: "The 100-odd pages of formulas and constants are surely the most catholic to be found” ( Scientific American).
  • adj. Including or concerning all humankind; universal: "what was of catholic rather than national interest” ( J.A. Froude).
  • adj. Of or involving the Roman Catholic Church.
  • adj. Of or relating to the universal Christian church.
  • adj. Of or relating to the ancient undivided Christian church.
  • adj. Of or relating to those churches that have claimed to be representatives of the ancient undivided church.
  • n. A member of a Catholic church, especially a Roman Catholic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Universal; all-encompassing.
  • adj. Pertaining to all kinds of people and their range of tastes, proclivities etc.

Etymologies

Middle English catholik, universally accepted, from Old French catholique, from Latin catholicus, universal, from Greek katholikos, from katholou, in general : kat-, kata-, down, along, according to; see cata- + holou (from neuter genitive of holos, whole; see sol- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin catholicus, from Ancient Greek καθολικός (katholikos), from κατά (kata, "according to") + ὅλος (holos, "whole") (Wiktionary)

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