original sin


Definition of original sin 

1 : the state of sin that according to Christian theology characterizes all human beings as a result of Adam's fall

2 : a wrong of great magnitude the original sin of slavery

Examples of original sin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Both the university and the public thought was his original sin. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Chris Webber ready to return to Michigan, despite wounds still not healed," 29 June 2018 Charleston, South Carolina has formally apologized for its role in America's original sin: slavery. Paula Rogo, Essence.com, "Charleston, South Carolina Formally Apologizes For Its Role in Slavery," 21 June 2018 Christian belief in the resurrection is associated with the idea of Limbo: a place for those who are stained with original sin, and thus cannot go to heaven, but who are otherwise deserving and shouldn’t be consigned to hell. John Hooper, WSJ, "How a $30 Million Renaissance Masterpiece Was Found," 21 May 2018 But that was because of his original sin, which was the July press conference, usurping power. Fox News, "Sen. Toomey on move to curb Trump's trade authority," 10 June 2018 Would a second ring and a second Finals MVP be enough to forgive his original sin of joining the Warriors? Ben Golliver, SI.com, "You Don’t Have to Forgive Kevin Durant, but You Do Have to Appreciate Him," 15 May 2018 Instead, the rest of the biennial springs from the ground turned up by these artists, who together draw a picture of America’s original sin. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "Old and new meet at Portland Museum of Art Biennial," 19 Apr. 2018 The tale of original sin, for example, implicitly cautions against curiosity in women: Eve’s act of eating a fruit from the tree of knowledge sets the stage for all evil on earth. Amandas Ong, The Atlantic, "Why Pop Culture Links Women and Killer Plants," 17 Apr. 2018 Black Panther offers no mystical alternative to racism’s threat, or the helplessness engendered by the tragedy of slavery (the original sin of removing Africans from their real and imagined roots). Armond White, National Review, "Black Panther’s Circle of Hype," 16 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'original 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 original sin

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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original sin


English Language Learners Definition of original sin

: the belief taught in Christianity that people will naturally do bad or evil things

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