cardinal sin


: a very bad or serious sin in Christianity
often used figuratively or humorously
Giving false information is a cardinal sin in news reporting.
He committed the cardinal sin of criticizing his boss.

Examples of cardinal sin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Republicans emerged from a fraught three-and-a-half-hour meeting insisting that such a resolution could not pass without garnering Democratic votes—a cardinal sin among the party faithful. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 19 Oct. 2023 Given its extraordinarily rich and long-standing reputation for quality and dependability, Volkswagen committed a cardinal sin against its own identity. Bernhard Rieger, Foreign Affairs, 4 Oct. 2015 The cardinal sin of much AI and algorithms today is discrimination baked into their fabric through poor data design. Vivek Wadhwa, Fortune, 1 Sep. 2023 Imelda’s cardinal sin was greed; this production, even more than the one at the Public, is an exercise in ecstatic excess. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 21 July 2023 May 11, 2023 See more reactions below: Airing rallies live is the cardinal sin of 2016. Shannon Larson,, 11 May 2023 Pessimism reigned in meme culture, and YouTubers amassed millions of followers by mocking creators who committed the cardinal sin of being too earnest or embarrassing online. Taylor Lorenz, Rolling Stone, 23 Apr. 2023 Eight of their 13 turnovers were committed in the quarter, and virtually all were of the live-ball variety — a basketball cardinal sin. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2023 Ben Aldridge has committed a cardinal sin of the gay community. Nick Romano,, 2 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cardinal sin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near cardinal sin

Cite this Entry

“Cardinal sin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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