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[pek-uh-dil-oh] /ˌpɛk əˈdɪl oʊ/
noun, plural peccadilloes, peccadillos.
a very minor or slight sin or offense; a trifling fault.
Origin of peccadillo
1585-95; < Spanish pecadillo, diminutive of pecado sin < Latin peccātum transgression, noun use of neuter of past participle of peccāre to err, offend
lapse, slip, faux pas, indiscretion. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for peccadillo
Historical Examples
  • In the world's eyes a matrimonial slip outweighs a peccadillo.

    Evan Harrington, Complete George Meredith
  • There is such family loyalty that every peccadillo is consecrated.

    The Story of My Life, volumes 4-6 Augustus J. C. Hare
  • Rain, exposure at dewfall on the searocks, a peccadillo at my time of life.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • But had he not atoned for this peccadillo fifty-fold by the results of his absence?

  • In fact, homicide on the frontier, as compared with horse-stealing, is a peccadillo.

    Frontier Folk George Booth
  • What she formerly regarded as a monstrous crime, she now spoke of as a peccadillo.

    File No. 113 Emile Gaboriau
  • In truth they had shared in the indiscretion and been partners in the peccadillo.

    Second String Anthony Hope
  • The examiner had committed a peccadillo, George a terrible crime.

    The Roll-Call Arnold Bennett
  • The peccadillo on his part had been very small, but he must be assured.

    John Caldigate

    Anthony Trollope
  • Question follows question; and my peccadillo stands confessed.

    The Life of the Fly J. Henri Fabre
British Dictionary definitions for peccadillo


noun (pl) -loes, -los
a petty sin or trifling fault
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish pecadillo, from pecado sin, from Latin peccātum, from peccāre to transgress
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for peccadillo

"slight sin," 1590s (earlier in corrupt form peccadilian, 1520s), from Spanish pecadillo, diminutive of pecado "a sin," from Latin peccatum "a sin, fault, error," noun use of neuter past participle of peccare "to miss, mistake, make a mistake, do amiss; transgress, offend, be licentious, sin," perhaps literally "to stumble," from a PIE verbal root *ped- "to walk, stumble, fall," related to the root of foot (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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