mortal sin


Definition of 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 Davies believed in only one mortal sin: Don’t ruin a party. Amy Nicholson, Town & Country, "The True Story Behind Mank," 5 Dec. 2020 But even at its sweetest, Smile still feels like the too-familiar work of a star committed to remaining pleasantly, fundamentally unchanged — and that may be the only mortal sin pop music can’t forgive. Leah Greenblatt,, "Katy Perry brings more of the same on sunny but familiar fifth album Smile: Review," 24 Aug. 2020 So far from being an absolute moral imperative, voting was proscribed in Italy under pain of mortal sin as recently as a century ago. Matthew Walther, TheWeek, "Catholic voters' impossible choice," 16 Aug. 2020 Staying home from Sunday Mass under these circumstances is not a mortal sin, the archdiocese said. Peggy O’hare,, "San Antonio churches make changes as coronavirus concerns persist," 13 Mar. 2020 As a child, McHale was taught that the Catholic Church considered homosexuality a mortal sin. USA Today, "Most priests accused of sexually abusing children were never sent to prison. Here's why," 12 Nov. 2019 Alone, none of these technical issue are mortal sins. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Borderlands 3 is a lot more Borderlands, in ways both good and bad," 17 Sep. 2019 Fry, however, committed the mortal sin of walking the lead-off man in the bottom of the 12th — Harold Castro, who went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two walks. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers give sparse crowd thrills, win on John Hicks' grand slam in 12 innings," 15 Sep. 2019 Yes, the running back held out (and eventually sued the Raiders to become a free agent, in 1991), but that was nothing compared to Allen's mortal sin, in Davis's eyes, of lacking quickness. Jon Wertheim,, "How the Influence of Al Davis Shaped the Modern NFL," 27 Aug. 2019

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

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First Known Use of mortal sin

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

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Cite this Entry

“Mortal sin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for mortal sin

mortal sin


English Language Learners Definition of mortal sin

in the Roman Catholic Church : a sin (such as murder) that will result in punishment that lasts forever unless the person who has sinned sincerely confesses to God and asks to be forgiven

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