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cardinal sin

(theol) any of the seven deadly sins
(informal) an unforgivable error or misjudgment: lack of impartiality is considered a cardinal sin in broadcasting circles
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Examples from the Web for cardinal sin
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With my grandmother, to fail in the due ordering of a house was a cardinal sin.

    The Dew of Their Youth S. R. Crockett
  • Horse stealing is the cardinal sin in the mountain desert, but Andrew felt the moment he saw her that she must be his.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Her early training had been in a church which regarded self-destruction as a cardinal sin.

    Love Stories Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • It was generally that way, for Step Hen forgot, which was his most cardinal sin.

  • It is the cardinal sin against which the Society of Friends have always striven.

  • From the foregoing estimate it may easily be gathered that imperfect technique is the cardinal sin of the average amateur poet.

    Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 Howard Phillips Lovecraft
  • Brown left him then, with a nod that conveyed remission of cardinal sin, and a warning not to repeat the offence.

    Told in the East Talbot Mundy
  • Ulick was too fond of his pleasures, and girls were no doubt the stencil of his cardinal sin.

    Painted Veils James Huneker
Contemporary definitions for cardinal sin

a principal or prime misdeed; a serious error in judgment


He committed the cardinal sin of journalism.'s 21st Century Lexicon
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