Katherine f
English form of the name of a saint martyred at Alexandria in 307. The story has it that she was a brilliant and learned young woman who was condemned to be broken on the wheel for her Christian belief and opposition to paganism. However, the wheel miraculously fell apart, so she was beheaded instead. There were innumerable elaborations on this story, which was one of the most popular in early Christian mythology, and she has been the object of a vast popular cult. The earliest sources that mention her are in Greek and give the name in the form Aikaterinē (still the modern Greek form, reflected also in the Russian form, Yekaterina). The name is of unknown etymology; the suggestion that it may be derived from Hecate, the pagan goddess of magic and enchantment, is not convincing. From an early date, it was associated with the Greek adjective katharos pure. This led to spellings with -th- and to a change in the middle vowel (see KATHARINE (SEE Katharine)). Several later saints also bore the name, including the mystic St Katherine of Siena (1347–80), who both led a contemplative life and played a role in the affairs of state of her day.
Katherine is also a royal name: in England it was borne by the formidable and popular Katherine of Aragon (1485–1536), first wife of Henry VIII, as well as by the wives of Henry V and Charles II. In France, it was borne by Catherine de' Medici (1519–89), wife of King Henry II and regent (1560–74). Probably the most famous royal bearer of all was the Russian empress Catherine the Great (1729–96; reigned 1762–96).
Variants: Katharine, Catherine, Catharine, Kathryn, Cathryn.
Cognates: Irish Gaelic: Caitríona, Caitrín, Catraoine, Caitlín. Scottish: CATRIONA (SEE Catriona), Ca(i)trìona. Welsh: Catrin. French: Catherine. Italian: Caterina. Spanish: Catalina. Portuguese: Catarina. German: Kat(h)arine, Katrine. Dutch: KatrienM, Katrijn. Polish: Katarzyna. Czech: Kateřina. Russian: Yekaterina; Katerina (popular form). See also KAREN (SEE Karen), KARIN (SEE Karin), KARI (SEE Kari).
Short forms: English: KATE (SEE Kate); Kath, Cath.
Pet forms: English: Kathy, Cathy; Katie, Katy, Kit(ty). German: Käthe. Polish: Kasia. Russian: Katya, Katinka.

First names dictionary. 2012.

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  • Katherine — or Katharine [kath′ə rin, kath′rin] n. a feminine name: dim. Kate, Kathy, Kay, Kit, Kitty: see CATHERINE1 …   English World dictionary

  • Katherine —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Philippe Katerine pour le chanteur.  Katherine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Katherine — /kath euhr in, kath rin/, n. a female given name: from the Greek word meaning pure. Also, Katharine, Kathryn, Kathrynne /kath rin/. * * * (as used in expressions) Katherine O Flaherty Drexel Saint Katherine Dunham Katherine Mansfield Katherine… …   Universalium

  • Katherine — dablink|Note: This article deals with people usually known by the name Catherine. For the history of the name Catherine, see Katherine (given name). To find people with the given name Catherine who are also known by another name, see… …   Wikipedia

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  • Katherine — /ˈkæθrən/ (say kathruhn) noun 1. a town in northern central NT, on the Katherine River. 2. a river in the NT, rising in south western Arnhem Land and flowing south west to the Daly River; flows through the steep cliffs of the Katherine Gorge.… …  

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