Thesaurus

cardinal

adjective

Synonym Discussion of cardinal

essential, fundamental, vital, cardinal mean so important as to be indispensable. essential implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character.
    • conflict is essential in drama
fundamental applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse.
    • fundamental principles of algebra
vital suggests something that is necessary to a thing's continued existence or operation.
    • cut off from vital supplies
cardinal suggests something on which an outcome turns or depends.
    • a cardinal rule in buying a home


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