mortal sin


: a sin (such as murder) that is deliberately committed and is of such serious consequence according to Thomist theology that it deprives the soul of sanctifying grace compare venial sin sense 1

Examples of mortal sin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Season three is all about Din, who is on a spiritual journey towards redemption after committing the mortal sin of taking off his helmet in front of others in the season two finale. Katie Rife, Chron, 2 Mar. 2023 Any association with gambling was a mortal sin., 28 Aug. 2021 Grifting for yourself is a mortal sin. Adrian Daub, The New Republic, 21 Apr. 2021 For more than a century, gambling was the one great mortal sin in American sports. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 26 Jan. 2023 Coveting thy neighbors’ pears isn’t a mortal sin — indeed, preventing food waste is a virtue. John Hodgman, New York Times, 12 Jan. 2023 And for an artist of his stature, known for putting an unmistakable stamp on the genres and eras of his choosing, that's the one mortal sin. Charles Bramesco, Chron, 18 Nov. 2022 Cawthorn’s rapid rise and fall is a case study in what counts as a mortal sin, professionally speaking, in today’s Republican Party — what conservative leaders and voters are willing to tolerate from a MAGA firebrand not named Trump. Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2022 Still, to hold this movie up as any kind of mortal sin against filmmaking is both silly and unfair. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 1 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mortal sin was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near mortal sin

Cite this Entry

“Mortal sin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

mortal sin

: a sin considered so serious or wicked as to deserve eternal punishment

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