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[kath-uh-lis-i-tee] /ˌkæθ əˈlɪs ɪ ti/
broad-mindedness or liberality, as of tastes, interests, or views.
universality; general inclusiveness.
(initial capital letter) the Roman Catholic Church, or its doctrines and usages.
Origin of catholicity
First recorded in 1820-30; catholic + -ity
Related forms
noncatholicity, noun
uncatholicity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for catholicity
Historical Examples
  • A bird remarkable for the catholicity of its appetite and serving to illustrate that of ours.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • The great store-house of his emotions and his phrases has the catholicity of the Bible.

  • It was not at all certain as yet, even that we had not the Note of catholicity; but, if not this, we had others.

    Apologia Pro Vita Sua John Henry Cardinal Newman
  • It stands in antithesis to the mediæval notion of catholicity.


    William Graham Sumner
  • It is an instance of its catholicity that it supplies the needs of all nations.

    India and the Indians Edward F. Elwin
  • To me one of its most pleasing features is what I have termed in the Preface its catholicity.

    The Empire of the East H. B. Montgomery
  • There is deep insight, sobriety of style, and a catholicity of outlook that is refreshing.

    The Pursuit of God A. W. Tozer
  • This is why the Ebionites, who had no Episcopate, had also no idea of catholicity.

  • Rome was the place in which the grand idea of catholicity was conceived.

  • But we have other and ampler evidence of his Christian catholicity.

British Dictionary definitions for catholicity


a wide range of interests, tastes, etc; liberality
universality; comprehensiveness


the beliefs, etc, of the Catholic Church
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for catholicity

1830, "catholicism," from catholic + -ity. Meaning "quality of being inclusive or comprehensive" is by 1843.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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