Katherine \k(a)-theri-ne, kath(e)-rine\ as a girl's name is pronounced KATH-rin, KATH-er-rin. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Katherine is "pure". From the word "katharos". The name may also have come from Hecate, the name of the Greek goddess of magic. Yet another possible source is Greek "aikia", "torture". All these meanings are likely associated with Saint Aikaterine of Alexandria (fourth century), who was born a pagan but died as a Christian martyr. A name in use since at least the third century AD. The early Latin forms Katerina and Caterina became Katharine and Catherine. The French Cateline and English Catlyn came into wider use during the medieval period, and variant spellings and forms were endless. It has been borne by illustrious women such as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, an early martyr; Empress Catherine the Great of Russia; and three of Henry VIII's six wives. Preference in modern times is for the K- spelling, which is closest to the original Greek versions. See also Kara, Karina, and Kolina. Actresses Catherine Oxenburg, Catherine Deneuve, Katharine Hepburn, Catherine Zeta-Jones; skater Katarina Witt.
Katherine has 192 variant forms: Cait, Caitlin, Caitlinn, Caitrin, Caitrine, Caitriona, Caitrionagh, Caity, Caren, Cari, Carin, Caron, Caronne, Carren, Carri, Carrin, Carron, Caryn, Carynn, Cass, Cassey, Cassi, Cassie, Cat, Cataleen, Cataleena, Catalin, Catalina, Cataline, Catarina, Catarine, Cate, Cateline, Caterina, Cathaleen, Cathaline, Catharin, Catharina, Catharine, Catharyna, Catharyne, Cathee, Cathelina, Catherina, Catherine, Catheryn, Cathie, Cathirin, Cathiryn, Cathleen, Cathline, Cathlyne, Cathrine, Cathrinn, Cathryn, Cathrynn, Cathy, Cathye, Cati, Catie, Catina, Catlaina, Catreen, Catreina, Catrin, Catrina, Catrine, Catriona, Catrionagh, Catryna, Caty, Cay, Caye, Ekaterina, Kaatje, Kait, Kaitee, Kaitie, Kaitlin, Kaitlinn, Kaitlyn, Kaitrin, Kaitrine, Kaitrinn, Kaitrinna, Kaitriona, Kaity, Karen, Karena, Kari, Karin, Karon, Karri, Karrin, Karyn, Karynn, Kasia, Kasienka, Kasja, Kaska, Kasya, Kass, Kassi, Kassia, Kassie, Kas, Kat, Kata, Kataleen, Katalin, Katalina, Katarina, Katchen, Kate, Katee, Katell, Katelle, Katena, Katenka, Katerina, Katey, Katha, Katharine, Katharyn, Kathee, Kathelina, Katheline, Katherin, Katherina, Katheryn, Katheryne, Kathi, Kathie, Kathileen, Kathirin, Kathiryn, Kathirynn, Kathleen, Kathlene, Kathleyn, Kathline, Kathlyne, Kathrene, Kathrina, Kathrine, Kathrinna, Kathryn, Kathryne, Kathrynn, Kathy, Kathyrine, Kati, Katica, Katie, Katina, Katinka, Katka, Katla, Katlaina, Katleen, Katline, Katoushka, Katouska, Katrena, Katria, Katriana, Katriane, Katrien, Katrina, Katrine, Katriona, Katrionagh, Katrya, Katryna, Katushka, Katy, Katya, Kay, Kaye, Kaylin, Kit, Kittey, Kitti, Kittie, Kitty, Rina, Trina, Trinchen, Trine, Trinette, Yekaterin and Yekaterina.