cardinal virtue

noun

Definition of cardinal virtue 

1 : one of the four classically defined natural virtues prudence, justice, temperance, or fortitude

2 : a quality designated as a major virtue

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Synonyms & Antonyms for cardinal virtue

Synonyms

distinction, excellence, excellency, grace, merit, value, virtue

Antonyms

deficiency, demerit, disvalue

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Examples of cardinal virtue in a Sentence

the cardinal virtue of wool is that it retains its insulating properties even when wet

Recent Examples on the Web

Breaching tennis’ cardinal virtues of self-sufficiency and autonomy, the coach begins by telling this emotional woman to calm down. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: Did David Ferrer’s Davis Cup Triumph Doom ITF Proposal for Revamp?," 11 Apr. 2018 Dialogue is one of their cardinal virtues, and most seemed determined to give Trump a hearing. Time, "'America No Longer Matters.' Davos Isn't Worried About President Trump," 25 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cardinal virtue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cardinal virtue

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of cardinal virtue was in the 14th century

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