sin·​ful | \ˈsin-fəl \

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 \ 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

The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world. Michael Paterniti, GQ, "Jimmy Carter for Higher Office," 26 June 2018 But after decades of branding female driving as sinful, many are still suspicious of the practice, particularly in conservative places like Qassim. Margherita Stancati And Donna Abdulaziz, WSJ, "Saudi Women Drive Toward More Equality After Ban Is Lifted," 25 June 2018 Suicide is wrongly seen as a character or moral flaw — or even a sinful act. Steven Petrow, Washington Post, "I wasn’t suicidal, until suddenly, terrifyingly I was," 23 June 2018 Saudi families are torn between embracing or resisting changes that clerics and government officials had spent years portraying as sinful. Fortune, "Saudi Arabia Is About to Let Women Drive. Here's Why Some Will Keep Their Driving Licenses a Secret," 22 June 2018 Apparently, ’round about the first of the year, Grandma Ernestine had made seeing my sinful behind fully immersed in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost her top resolution. Lori D. Johnson, The Root, "The Inheritance," 3 June 2018 Irma Thomas in the Gospel Tent at 3:55 p.m. - Sure, you might be drawn to Jack White over at the Acura Stage, but to miss Irma Thomas in the Gospel Tent on Sunday would be, well, sinful. Doug Maccash,, "6 must-see shows on New Orleans Jazz Fest's 2nd Sunday (May 6)," 6 May 2018 But if the inclination always leads to an immoral act, isn’t the inclination itself sinful? Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Why We Should Say Yes to Drugs," 25 May 2018 Basically, Muslims shouldn't do anything that can be seen as sinful during Ramadan. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Why are Muslims fasting? What you need to know about Ramadan," 11 May 2018

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

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

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More Definitions for sinful



English Language Learners Definition of sinful

: wrong according to religious or moral law

: very bad or wicked

: extremely enjoyable in a way that makes you feel guilty


sin·​ful | \ˈsin-fəl \

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

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