Saint. died 307 ad, legendary Christian martyr of Alexandria, who was tortured on a spiked wheel and beheaded
?1684–1727, second wife of Peter the Great, whom she succeeded as empress of Russia (1725–27)
known as Catherine the Great. 1729–96, empress of Russia (1762–96), during whose reign Russia extended her boundaries at the expense of Turkey, Sweden, and Poland: she was a patron of literature and the arts
Kate. 1846–1901, English painter, noted as an illustrator of children's books
Peter. born 1942, British film director; noted for such cerebral films as The Draughtsman's Contract (1982), Prospero's Books (1990), and Eight and a Half Women (1999)
fem. proper name, from M.L. Katerina, from Gk. Aikaterina. The -h- was introduced 16c., a folk etymology from Gk. katheros "pure." The initial Gk. vowel is preserved in Russian form Ekaterina. As the name of a type of pear, attested from 1641. Catherine wheel (early 13c.) is named for St. Catherine of Alexandria, legendary virgin martyr from the time of Maximinus. Her name day is Nov. 25. A popular saint in the Middle Ages, which accounts for the popularity of the given name.