the 12th letter of the Arabic alphabet.

Origin of sīn

From Arabic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for sīn




  1. transgression of God's known will or any principle or law regarded as embodying this
  2. the condition of estrangement from God arising from such transgressionSee also actual sin, mortal sin, original sin, venial sin
any serious offence, as against a religious or moral principle
any offence against a principle or standard
live in sin informal (of an unmarried couple) to live together

verb sins, sinning or sinned (intr)

theol to commit a sin
(usually foll by against) to commit an offence (against a person, principle, etc)
Derived Formssinner, noun

Word Origin for sin

Old English synn; related to Old Norse synth, Old High German suntea sin, Latin sons guilty



preposition, conjunction, adverb

a Scot dialect word for since




a variant of shin, the 21st letter in the Hebrew alphabet (שׂ), transliterated as SSee shin 2



abbreviation for




abbreviation for (in Canada)

social insurance number
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 sīn



Old English synn "moral wrongdoing, injury, mischief, enmity, feud, guilt, crime, offense against God, misdeed," from Proto-Germanic *sun(d)jo- "sin" (cf. Old Saxon sundia, Old Frisian sende, Middle Dutch sonde, Dutch zonde, German Sünde "sin, transgression, trespass, offense," extended forms), probably ultimately "it is true," i.e. "the sin is real" (cf. Gothic sonjis, Old Norse sannr "true"), from PIE *snt-ya-, a collective form from *es-ont- "becoming," present participle of root *es- "to be" (see is).

The semantic development is via notion of "to be truly the one (who is guilty)," as in Old Norse phrase verð sannr at "be found guilty of," and the use of the phrase "it is being" in Hittite confessional formula. The same process probably yielded the Latin word sons (genitive sontis) "guilty, criminal" from present participle of sum, esse "to be, that which is." Some etymologists believe the Germanic word was an early borrowing directly from the Latin genitive. Cf. also sooth.

Sin-eater is attested from 1680s. To live in sin "cohabit without marriage" is from 1838; used earlier in a more general sense. Ice hockey slang sin bin "penalty box" is attested from 1950.



Old English syngian "to commit sin, transgress, err," from synn (see sin (n.)); the form influenced by the noun. Cf. Old Saxon sundion, Old Frisian sendigia, Middle Dutch sondighen, Dutch zondigen, Old High German sunteon, German sündigen "to sin." Form altered from Middle English sunigen by influence of the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sīn in Science


Abbreviation of sine
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with sīn


see live in sin; more sinned against than sinning; multitude of sins; ugly as sin; wages of sin.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.