Definition of cardinal sin in English:

cardinal sin

noun

  • 1Another name for deadly sin.

    • ‘I had committed the cardinal sin of pride and this was my punishment.’
    • ‘The first complete medieval allegory, it depicts a world in which we are constantly at war with our own sinfulness, a struggle of faith between the cardinal virtues and the cardinal sins.’
    • ‘After all who has never experienced the seven cardinal sins of Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Avarice, Envy, Pride or Lust before?’
    • ‘Sixteenth century penitential books, which played an enormous part in popularising the concept of the cardinal sins through sermons and penance, continued to list eight sins rather than seven.’
    • ‘These three cardinal sins require martyrdom because of their intrinsic severity, and not because of the punishment prescribed for them.’
    • ‘The cardinal sins are good, everyday vices-pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth.’
    • ‘These seven ‘deadly’ sentiments don't consign us to hell or block spiritual progress, as the cardinal sins are said to do.’
  • 2humorous A serious error of judgment.

    ‘the program was canceled for the biggest cardinal sin of them all—it dared to be intelligent’
    • ‘John Lauber, formerly an NTSB official and now an aviation safety counselor, once identified the seven cardinal sins leading to accidents.’
    • ‘In multicultural, pluralist, tolerant Britain, ridiculing religion is frowned upon and causing offence or undermining the self-esteem of communities is a cardinal sin.’
    • ‘The great cardinal sin in business these days seems to be missing even the slightest opportunity to shove an ad in people's faces at every possible moment.’
    • ‘Too much of it is loose, self-indulgent and, the cardinal sin of political comedy, badly researched.’
    • ‘In fact, visitors to the new hotel tower can commit what was once considered a cardinal sin in Sin City - they can check into the gleaming tower without ever passing through the casino.’
    • ‘As Sidney Hook wrote, ‘The cardinal sin, when we are looking for truth of fact or wisdom of policy, is refusal to discuss.’’
    • ‘More important-because it hits at the most cardinal sins of the sentimental writers-is Dennis's objection to the mixed emotional response expected of the play's audience.’
    • ‘To leave a piton behind was one of the cardinal sins of rock-climbing.’
    • ‘This is one of the cardinal sins in freestyle swimming.’
    • ‘The cardinal sin in scientific communication is vagueness, not bad grammar.’
    • ‘Most likely, they simply lacked the nimbleness of mind to see the issue in its broader context; superficiality and groupthink remain the cardinal sins of press corps, especially television reporters.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, shoehorning distant events into modern explanations rarely works and is, indeed, one of the cardinal sins of historical research.’
    • ‘A cardinal sin in history is sometimes referred to as ‘presentism’, to treat the present as the measure of the past, morally or intellectually.’
    • ‘The first thing that an operator does when s/he arrives at the site is ‘to check wind direction, because it's a cardinal sin to have the fallout and smoke drifting towards the audience’.’
    • ‘This may be the cardinal sin: settling on a venue before the event is designed.’
    • ‘In the world of informational politics the cardinal sin is to offend the press - and that is of course a large part of the problem.’
    • ‘Any discussion of bad habits would be incomplete without mention of the cardinal sins: smoking and sitting in the sun.’
    • ‘I'd like to beg your collective indulgences while I commit the cardinal sin of bringing too much of the reviewer into the review.’
    • ‘The cardinal sin in match play is to get complacent.’
    • ‘Credit attribution if neglected, is a cardinal sin that will breed bitterness within the community and discourage developers from further contributing to the project.’