- 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.
- of main importance; principal; chief
- bright-red, like the robe of a cardinal
Origin of cardinalMiddle 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 of cardinalso named because colored like a cardinal's robe any of various passerine birds (family Emberizidae); esp., a bright-red, crested American species (Cardinalis cardinalis) with a red bill
- cardinal number
Origin of cardinalME < LL(Ec) cardinalis, chief presbyter, cardinal < the L adj.
- 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 bird (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 1700s.
- A cardinal number.
Origin of cardinalMiddle English, from Late Latin cardinālis, principal, pivotal, from Latin, serving as a hinge, from cardō, cardin-, hinge.
female (left) and male (right) cardinals
(comparative more cardinal, superlative most cardinal)
- Of fundamental importance; crucial, pivotal.
- a cardinal rule
- (nautical) Of or relating to the cardinal directions (north, south, east and west).
- a cardinal mark
- Describing a "natural" number used to indicate quantity (e.g., one, two, three), as opposed to an ordinal number indicating relative position.
- Having a bright red color (from the color of a Catholic cardinal's cassock).
- A number indicating quantity, or the size of a set, e.g., one, two, three. (See Cardinal number.)
- (grammar) A word used to represent a cardinal number; a cardinal numeral.
- An official in the Catholic Church, ranking only below the Pope and the patriarchs. (See Catholic cardinals.)
- A songbird of the finch family, Cardinalis cardinalis
- Any of various related passerine birds of the family Cardinalidae. (See cardinal birds.)
- A shade of scarlet, the traditional colour of a Catholic cardinal's cassock.
- A woman's short cloak with a hood.
- Mulled red wine.
From French cardinal, from Latin cardinālis (“pertaining to a hinge, hence applied to that on which something turns or depends, important, principal, chief”), from cardō (“hinge”) + -ālis, adjectival suffix.
- (baseball) A player on the St. Louis Cardinals team.
- Smith became a Cardinal as the result of a pre-season trade.
- (American football) A player on the Arizona Cardinals team.
- A player on a sports team at Stanford University.
- A student or player on a sports team at the University of Louisville.