• synonyms

original sin



  1. a depravity, or tendency to evil, held to be innate in humankind and transmitted from Adam to all humans in consequence of his sin.
  2. inclination to evil, inherent in human nature.
Roman Catholic Theology. the privation of sanctifying grace in consequence of the sin of Adam.


the seven deadly sinsRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.


disobedience, wickedness, sinfulness

Nearby words

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Origin of original sin

1300–50; Middle English; translation of Medieval Latin peccātum orīgināle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for original sin

original sin


a state of sin held to be innate in mankind as the descendants of Adam
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

Culture definitions for original sin (1 of 2)

original sin

The eating of the forbidden fruit by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, which led to their expulsion from Eden by God. In Christian theology, the act by which all humans fell from divine grace.

Culture definitions for original sin (2 of 2)

original sin

The sin of Adam and Eve, the essential event of the Fall of Man. According to the most common teaching of Christians (see also Christian), all descendants of Adam and Eve — that is, all people — share in this sin and are, from the time they are conceived, in a state of sin. In German, the term used is Erbsunde, meaning “inherited sin,” a more explanatory term than the English one. Jesus, through his Crucifixion and Resurrection, atoned for original sin. All who believe in Jesus and accept baptism are freed from original sin and experience salvation (see also salvation). (See justification by grace, through faith.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.