cardinal sin

World English Dictionary
cardinal sin
 
n
1.  theol any of the seven deadly sins
2.  informal an unforgivable error or misjudgment: lack of impartiality is considered a cardinal sin in broadcasting circles

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  cardinal sin
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a principal or prime misdeed; a serious error in judgment
Example:  He committed the cardinal sin of journalism.
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

cardinal sin

any of the sins, usually numbering seven, dating back to the early history of Christian monasticism; they were grouped together as early as the 6th century by St. Gregory the Great. A sin was classified as deadly not merely because it was a serious offense morally but because "it gives rise to others, especially in the manner of a final cause" or motivation (St. Thomas Aquinas). The traditional catalog of the seven deadly sins is: (1) vainglory, or pride; (2) covetousness; (3) lust, understood as inordinate or illicit sexual desire; (4) envy; (5) gluttony, which usually included drunkenness; (6) anger; and (7) sloth. The classical discussion of the subject is in the Summa Theologica, by the 13th-century theologian St. Thomas Aquinas. The deadly sins were a popular theme in the morality plays and art of the European Middle Ages.

Learn more about cardinal sin with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature