Of Greek origin.

From the name Αικατερίνη (Aikaterine).

Derives from the early Greek name “Εκατερίνη”, (Hekaterine).

From the Greek word “εκάτερος” (hekáteros), meaning “each of the two”.

Other sources mention as a possible origin, the name of the goddess Hecate.

In the early Christian era, it was associated with the Greek “καθαρός” (katharós), meaning “pure”.

It was changed from Katerina to the Latin Katharina to reflect this association.

It was the name of the 4th-century saint and martyr from Alexandria who was tortured on a spiked wheel.

Crusaders introduced the name to Western Europe and it became common in England in the 12th century, in different spellings. Katherine and Catherine were the standard forms of the name in the Middle Ages.

Queens in Italy and France were among the name bearers as long as two Russian Empresses.

Other forms of the name, diminutives and different languages spellings are Catherine, Catharine, Katherina, Kathryn, Cathryn, Kate, Katalin, Ekaterina, Katarina, Ina, Katica, Tina, Caterina, Karine, Karen, Karin, Katka, Catrina, Katrin, Katalina, Katia, Katyusha, Katja, Cathy, Kat, Kate, Kathie, Katie, Kathy, Kayla, Kitty, Caelie, Cailin, Cailyn, Cate, Kailyn, Kaylee and more.

The name has also a Native American variant, Kateri, from the Mohawk pronunciation of Katherine, adopted by the 17th century Mohawk woman Tekakwitha when she was baptized.

Katherine is ranked #90 in the U.S.A.

Famous bearers are Katherine Heigl, Katherine Jenkins, Katherine Kelly Lang, Katherine Moennig, Katherine Helmond, Katherine Mansfield.

Watch a short video biography of American actress Katherine Heigl: