Definition of peccadillo
: a slight offense
Did You Know?
The world loves a spice of wickedness. That observation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow may explain why people are so willing to forgive peccadilloes as youthful foolishness or lapses of judgment. The willingness to overlook petty faults and minor offenses existed long before English speakers borrowed a modified version of the Spanish pecadillo at the end of the 16th century. Spanish speakers distinguished the pecadillo, or "little sin," from the more serious pecado, their term for a sin of magnitude. And these Spanish terms can be traced back still further, to the Latin verb peccare, meaning "to sin."
Origin and Etymology of peccadillo
Spanish pecadillo, diminutive of pecado sin, from Latin peccatum, from neuter of peccatus, past participle of peccare
First Known Use: 1600
PECCADILLO Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of peccadillo for English Language Learners
: a small mistake or fault that is not regarded as very bad or serious
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