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 formsnon·cath·o·lic·i·ty, nounun·cath·o·lic·i·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for catholicity

Catholicism, Catholicity, Romanism, papistry, popery

Examples from the Web for catholicity

Historical Examples of catholicity

  • A bird remarkable for the catholicity of its appetite and serving to illustrate that of ours.

  • 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

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

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