catherine


catherine

noun

  1. a female given name.

noun

  1. Marfa Skavronskaya, 1684?–1727, Lithuanian wife of Peter the Great: empress of Russia 1725–27.

noun

  1. Sophia Augusta of Anhalt-ZerbstCatherine the Great, 1729–96, empress of Russia 1762–96.

noun

  1. KateCatherine, 1846–1901, English painter and author and illustrator of children’s books.

noun

  1. Saint. died 307 ad, legendary Christian martyr of Alexandria, who was tortured on a spiked wheel and beheaded

noun

  1. ?1684–1727, second wife of Peter the Great, whom she succeeded as empress of Russia (1725–27)

noun

  1. known as Catherine the Great. 1729–96, empress of Russia (1762–96), during whose reign Russia extended her boundaries at the expense of Turkey, Sweden, and Poland: she was a patron of literature and the arts

noun

  1. Kate. 1846–1901, English painter, noted as an illustrator of children’s books
  2. Peter. born 1942, British film director; noted for such cerebral films as The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982), Prospero’s Books (1990), and Eight and a Half Women (1999)

fem. proper name, from French Catherine, from Medieval Latin Katerina, from Latin Ecaterina, from Greek Aikaterine. The -h- was introduced 16c., probably a folk etymology from Greek katheros “pure.” The initial Greek vowel is preserved in Russian form Ekaterina.

As the name of a type of pear, attested from 1640s. Catherine wheel (early 13c.) is named for St. Catherine of Alexandria, legendary virgin martyr from the time of Maximinus who was tortured on a spiked wheel. Her name day is Nov. 25. A popular saint in the Middle Ages, which accounts for the popularity of the given name.

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