cardinal

[ kahr-dn-l ]
/ ˈkɑr dn l /

noun

adjective

of prime importance; chief; principal: of cardinal significance.
of the color cardinal.

QUIZZES

DON’T VACILLATE! VANQUISH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

It’d be a real faux pas to miss this quiz on the words from August 3–9, 2020!
Question 1 of 7
What does “vacillate” mean?

Origin of cardinal

First recorded before 1150; Middle English, Old English, from Latin cardinālis, equivalent to cardin- (stem of cardō ) “hinge,” hence, something on which other things hinge + -ālis adjective suffix; see -al1

OTHER WORDS FROM cardinal

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for cardinal

  • "Eat an' drink," she said, as if these actions were the cardinally important ones of life.

  • Thus was he cardinally consigned to the good graces of the Church and of God.

    Droll Stories, Complete|Honore de Balzac

British Dictionary definitions for cardinal

cardinal
/ (ˈkɑːdɪnəl) /

noun

adjective

Derived forms of cardinal

cardinally, 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