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1

cardinal

play
noun car·di·nal \ˈkärd-nəl, ˈkär-də-\

Simple Definition of cardinal

  • : a priest of the Roman Catholic Church who ranks immediately below the Pope

  • : a common North American bird

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cardinal

  1. 1 :  a high ecclesiastical official of the Roman Catholic Church who ranks next below the pope and is appointed by him to assist him as a member of the college of cardinals

  2. 2 :  cardinal number —usually used in plural

  3. 3 [from its color, resembling that of the cardinal's robes] :  a crested finch (Cardinalis cardinalis of the family Cardinalidae) of the eastern United States and adjacent Canada, the southwestern United States, and Mexico to Belize which has a black face and heavy red bill in both sexes and is nearly completely red in the male

cardinalship play \-ˌship\ noun

Examples of cardinal in a sentence

  1. The Pope appointed two new cardinals this year.



Illustration of cardinal

Origin of cardinal

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin cardinalis, from Late Latin cardinalis, adjective


First Known Use: 12th century


2

cardinal

adjective car·di·nal

Simple Definition of cardinal

  • : basic or most important

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cardinal

  1. 1 :  of basic importance <a cardinal principle>

  2. 2 :  very serious or grave <a cardinal sin>

cardinally adverb

Examples of cardinal in a sentence

  1. the cardinal principles of news reporting

  2. My cardinal rule is to always be honest.



Origin of cardinal

Middle English, from Late Latin cardinalis, from Latin, serving as a hinge, from cardin-, cardo hinge


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of cardinal

essential, fundamental, vital, cardinal mean so important as to be indispensable. essential implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character <conflict is essential in drama>. fundamental applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse <fundamental principles of algebra>. vital suggests something that is necessary to a thing's continued existence or operation <cut off from vital supplies>. cardinal suggests something on which an outcome turns or depends <a cardinal rule in buying a home>.


CARDINAL Defined for Kids

1

cardinal

play
noun car·di·nal \ˈkärd-nəl, ˈkär-də-\

Definition of cardinal for Students

  1. 1 :  a high official of the Roman Catholic Church ranking next below the pope

  2. 2 :  a bright red songbird with a crest and a whistling call




2

cardinal

play
adjective car·di·nal

Definition of cardinal for Students

  1. :  of first importance :  main, principal <Arnold Jones had apparently forgotten one of the cardinal rules of survival … — Jerry Spinelli, Maniac Magee>





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