Catherine \c(a)-theri-ne, cath(e)-rine\ as a girl's name is pronounced KATH-rin, KATH-er-in. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Catherine is "pure". From "katharos". The name may also have been derived from Hecate, the name of the Greek goddess of magic. Another possible source is Greek "aikia" meaning "torture". All these meanings might have been associated with Saint Aikaterine of Alexandria (fourth century), who was born a pagan but died as a Christian martyr. English form of Katherine also used in France. Catharine is the English-only form. One of the great traditional names for women, with variations in many languages. The name of several saints and queens, including Catherine the Great, empress of Russia, and three of Henry VIII's six wives. Modern-day short forms are usually Katie instead of Cathy. Actresses Catherine Oxenberg, Catherine Deneuve, Katherine Hepburn, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cate Blanchett; Australian track celebrity Cathy Freeman.
Catherine has 211 variant forms: Cadi, Cait, Caitey, Caitie, Caitlin, Caitlinn, Caitria, Caitrin, Caitrine, Caitrinn, Caitriona, Caitrionagh, Caity, Caren, Cari, Carin, Caron, Caronne, Carren, Carri, Carrin, Carron, Caryn, Carynn, Cass, Cassey, Cassi, Cassie, Cassy, Cat, Cataleen, Cataleena, Catalin, Catalina, Cataline, Catarina, Catarine, Cate, Cateline, Caterina, Caterine, Catey, Cath, Catha, Cathaleen, Cathaline, Catharin, Catharina, Catharine, Cathatyna, Catharyne, Cathe, Cathee, Catheirn, Cathelin, Cathelina, Cathelle, Cathenne, Catheren, Catherin, Catherina, Catherinn, Cathern, Catheryn, Cathi, Cathie, Cathirin, Cathiryn, Cathleen, Cathlene, Cathline, Cathlyne, Cathrine, Cathrinn, Cathryn, Cathryne, Cathrynn, Cathy, Cathye, Cathyleen, Cati, Catia, Catie, Catlina, Catlaina, Cato, Catreena, Catrelle, Catrice, Catricia, Catrin, Catrina, Catrine, Catrine, Catriona, Catrionagh, Catryna, Catteeka, Caty, Cay, Caye, Cazzy, Ekaterina, Kait, Kaitey, Kaitie, Kaitlin, Kaitlinne, Kaitrin, Kaitrine, Kaitrinna, Kaitriona, Kaitrionaugh, Kaity, Karen, Karena, Kari, Karin, Karon, Karri, Karrin, Karyn, Karynn, Kasia, Kasienka, Kasja, Kaska, Kass, Kassey, Kassia, Kassy, Kasya, Kat, Kata, Kataleen, Katalin, Katalina, Katarina, Katchen, Kate, Katee, Katelijn, Katell, Katelle, Katenka, Katerina, Katerinka, Katey, Katinka, Katha, Katharine, Katharyn, Katharyne, Kathee, Kathelina, Katheline, Katherin, Katherina, Katherine, Katheryn, Katherynn, Kathi, Kathie, Kathileen, Kathiryn, Kathleen, Kathlene, Kathleyn, Kathline, Kathyleen, Kathrine, Kathrinna, Kathryn, Kathryne, Kathy, Kathyrine, Kati, Katia, Katica, Katie, Katina, Katinka, Katka, Katla, Katlaina, Katleen, Katoushka, Katouska, Katrena, Katrien, Katrine, Katrina, Katriona, Katrionaugh, Katryna, Katushka, Katuska, Katy, Katya, Kay, Kaye, Kit, Kittee, Kittie, Kitty, Riona, Trina, Trine, Trinette, Yekaterin and Yekaterina.
For more information, see also the related name Cady.