anything considered to be an important or characteristic virtue: Tenacity is his cardinal virtue.
cardinal virtues, Ancient Philosophy. justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude.
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How to use cardinal virtue in a sentence
Economy with the good old soul was a cardinal virtue, waste a deadly sin.Fifty Years of Railway Life in England, Scotland and Ireland | Joseph Tatlow
And may it not be forgotten that all apparent reformation must be hedged by this cardinal virtue of practical life!Thoughts on Educational Topics and Institutions | George S. Boutwell
Therefore obedience was made a cardinal virtue, as essential to the very existence of monastic institutions.Beacon Lights of History, Volume V | John Lord
Patience is a cardinal virtue with men of his profession, a moment's undue haste often undoing the work of hours.The Phantom of the River | Edward S. Ellis
I began to perceive that merriment is only malice in disguise, and that the chief cardinal virtue is misanthropy.