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noun, plural pec·ca·dil·loes, pec·ca·dil·los.
  1. a very minor or slight sin or offense; a trifling fault.
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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

Synonyms for peccadillo

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for peccadillo

indiscretion, impropriety, misdemeanor, vice

Examples from the Web for peccadillo

Historical Examples of peccadillo

  • 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.

  • Rain, exposure at dewfall on the searocks, a peccadillo at my time of life.


    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

British Dictionary definitions for peccadillo


noun plural -loes or -los
  1. a petty sin or trifling fault
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Word Origin for peccadillo

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

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.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper