from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of the Western Christian church, as opposed to the Orthodox church.
  • adj. Of the Roman Catholic church.
  • n. A member of a Catholic church.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Universal or general.
  • adj. Not narrow-minded, partial, or bigoted; liberal.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to, or affecting the Roman Catholics.
  • n. A person who accepts the creeds which are received in common by all parts of the orthodox Christian church.
  • n. An adherent of the Roman Catholic church; a Roman Catholic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Universal; embracing all; wide-extending.
  • Not narrow-minded, partial, or bigoted; free from prejudice; liberal; possessing a mind that appreciates all truth, or a spirit that appreciates all that is good.
  • In theology: Originally, intended for all parts of the inhabited world; not confined to one nation, like the Jewish religion, but fitted to include members of all human races: applied to the Christian religion and church.
  • Constituting, conforming to, or in harmony with the visible church, which extended throughout the whole Roman empire and adjacent countries, possessed a common organization and a system of intercommunion, and regulated dispnted questions by ecumenical councils, as distinguished from local sects, whether heretical or simply schismatic, but especially from those which did not accept the decrees of ecumenical councils: as, the Catholic Church; the Catholic faith.
  • Historically derived from the ancient undivided church before the great schism, and acknowledging the decrees of its councils as recognized by the Greek or Eastern Church.
  • Claiming unbroken descent (through the apostolic succession) from and conformity to the order and doctrine of the ancient undivided church, and acknowledging the decrees of its councils as received by both the Greek and the Latin Church. In this sense the word Catholic is applied by Anglican writers to their own communion. Claiming to possess exclusively the notes or characteristics of the one, only, true, and universal church—unity, visibility, indefectibility, succession, universality, and sanctity: used in this sense, with these qualifications, only by the Church of Rome, as applicable only to itself and its adherents, and to their faith and organization; often qualified, especially by those not acknowledging these claims, by prefixing the word Roman. More specifically, an epithet distinguishing the faith of the universal Christian church from those opinions which are peculiar to special sects. A designation of certain of the epistles in the New Testament which are addressed to believers generally and not to a particular church. The catholic epistles are James, Peter I. and II., John I., and Jude. John II. and III. are also usually included. Belonging as property to the church at large, as distinguished from a parish or a monastic order: in ancient ecclesiastical literature used to designate certain church buildings, as a bishop's church in contrast with a parish church, or a parish church which was open to all in distinction from monastic churches.
  • n. [capitalized] A member of the universal Christian church.
  • n. [capitalized] A member of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • n. Same as catholicos.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. free from provincial prejudices or attachments
  • n. a member of a Catholic church
  • adj. of or relating to or supporting Catholicism


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek καθολικός (katholikos), from κατά (kata, "according to") + ὅλος (holos, "whole")


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