- The definition of a cardinal is a songbird with a noticeable crest and a stout bill that is often red in color, a distinctive red color, or a dignitary in the Roman Catholic church.
- A songbird with a red plume and stout bill is an example of a cardinal.
- A deep scarlet color is an example of cardinal.
- A Roman Catholic dignitary nominated by the Pope and held in high esteem within the church is an example of a Cardinal.
A male cardinal bird.
cardinal definition by Webster's New World
- of main importance; principal; chief
- bright-red, like the robe of a cardinal
Origin: Middle English ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin cardinalis, principal, chief ; from cardo, that on which something turns or depends, origin, originally , door hinge: see scherzo
- one of the Roman Catholic officials appointed by the pope to his council ( College of Cardinals)
- bright red
- a woman's short cloak, originally red and usually hooded, fashionable in the 18th cent.
Origin: so named because colored like a cardinal's robeany of various passerine birds (family Emberizidae); esp., a bright-red, crested American species (Cardinalis cardinalis) with a red bill
- cardinal number
Origin: ME < LL(Ec) cardinalis, chief presbyter, cardinal < the L adj.
cardinal definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Of foremost importance; paramount: a cardinal rule; cardinal sins.
- Dark to deep or vivid red.
- Abbr. Card. Roman Catholic Church A high church official, ranking just below the pope, who has been appointed by a pope to membership in the College of Cardinals.
- A dark to deep or vivid red.
- A North American finch (Cardinalis cardinalis) having a crested head, a short thick bill, and bright red plumage in the male.
- A short hooded cloak, originally of scarlet cloth, worn by women in the 18th century.
- A cardinal number.
Origin: Middle English, from Late Latin cardinālis, principal, pivotal, from Latin, serving as a hinge, from cardō, cardin-, hinge.
- carˈdi·nal·shipˌ noun