cath·o·lic (kăthə-lĭk, kăthlĭk)
1. Of broad or liberal scope; comprehensive: "The 100-odd pages of formulas and constants are surely the most catholic to be found" (Scientific American).
2. Including or concerning all humankind; universal: "what was of catholic rather than national interest" (J.A. Froude).
a. Of or involving the Roman Catholic Church.
b. Of or relating to the universal Christian church.
c. Of or relating to the ancient undivided Christian church.
d. Of or relating to those churches that have claimed to be representatives of the ancient undivided church.
A member of a Catholic church, especially a Roman Catholic.
[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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
ca·tholi·cal·ly (kə-thŏlĭk-lē) adv.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.