sin·​ful | \ ˈsin-fəl How to pronounce sinful (audio) \

Definition of sinful

1 : tainted with, marked by, or full of sin : wicked
2 : such as to make one feel guilty a sinful chocolate cake

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Other Words from sinful

sinfully \ ˈsin-​fə-​lē How to pronounce sinfully (audio) \ adverb
sinfulness noun

Examples of sinful in a Sentence

It is sinful to steal. chastised by his minister for his sinful behavior
Recent Examples on the Web These days, the seven deadly sins are not all so sinful. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "The Service That Makes Shame a Productivity Hack," 2 Dec. 2019 The most sinful city in the U.S. shouldn’t come as a surprise. Leada Gore |, al, "This is the most sinful city in Alabama," 26 Nov. 2019 Death by suicide has been considered sinful by the Catholic Church and other religions for centuries, but the church has softened its stance in recent decades. CBS News, "Woman sues over priest who criticized son's suicide at funeral: "Why would you make it even worse?"," 20 Nov. 2019 Like most reform movements of the time, suffrage began with the notion that something was wrong - sinful - and the goal was to convince sinners to stop the behavior, Handley said. Annie Gentile,, "Program Marks 100th Anniversary Of Women’s Suffrage," 14 Nov. 2019 The Catholic Church teaches that artificial contraception is sinful. Washington Post, "A new chain of Christian pregnancy centers will provide a controversial service: Contraception," 8 Nov. 2019 It was made more horrible by the commonplace idea that it had been sent by God to punish sinful behavior. Richard Conniff, National Geographic, "The world before vaccines is a world we can’t afford to forget," 16 Aug. 2019 But because poor people tend to spend a higher proportion of their income than others on things deemed sinful, such taxes hit them hardest. The Economist, "Boris Johnson may reverse Britain’s embrace of sin taxes," 4 July 2019 The flower seems to embody some sinful, Gauguinesque escape to the tropics. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "The sultry plant that will break your heart," 13 Aug. 2019

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sinful

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The first known use of sinful was before the 12th century

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Statistics for sinful

Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Sinful.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for sinful


How to pronounce sinful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sinful

: wrong according to religious or moral law
: very bad or wicked
informal : extremely enjoyable in a way that makes you feel guilty


sin·​ful | \ ˈsin-fəl How to pronounce sinful (audio) \

Kids Definition of sinful

: being or full of sin : wicked

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More from Merriam-Webster on sinful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sinful

Spanish Central: Translation of sinful

Nglish: Translation of sinful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sinful for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sinful

What made you want to look up sinful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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