[ kahr-dn-l ]
/ ˈkɑr dn l /
of prime importance; chief; principal: of cardinal significance.
of the color cardinal.
Roman Catholic Church. a high ecclesiastic appointed by the pope to the College of Cardinals and ranking above every other ecclesiastic but the pope.
Also called cardinal grosbeak. a crested grosbeak, Cardinalis cardinalis, of North America, the male of which is bright red.
any of various similar birds.
a deep, rich red color.
a woman's short cloak with a hood, originally made of scarlet cloth and popularly worn in the 18th century.
Words nearby cardinal
Origin of cardinal
before 1150; Middle English, Old English < Latin cardinālis, equivalent to cardin- (stem of cardō) hinge, hence, something on which other things hinge + -ālis -al1
OTHER WORDS FROM cardinal
car·di·nal·ly, adverbcar·di·nal·ship, nounin·ter·car·di·nal, adjectivepost·car·di·nal, adjective
sub·car·di·nal, adjectivesub·car·di·nal·ly, adverbun·car·di·nal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for cardinally
/ (ˈkɑːdɪnəl) /
RC Church any of the members of the Sacred College, ranking next after the pope, who elect the pope and act as his chief counsellors
Also called: cardinal red a deep vivid red colour
See cardinal number
Also called: cardinal grosbeak, (US) redbird a crested North American bunting, Richmondena (or Pyrrhuloxia) cardinalis, the male of which has a bright red plumage and the female a brown one
a fritillary butterfly, Pandoriana pandora, found in meadows of southern Europe
a woman's hooded shoulder cape worn in the 17th and 18th centuries
Derived forms of cardinalcardinally, adverb
Word Origin for cardinal
C13: from Latin cardinālis, literally: relating to a hinge, hence, that on which something depends, principal, from cardō hinge
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