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.(noun)
See cardinal in Webster's New World College Dictionary
Origin: ME < OFr < L cardinalis, principal, chief < cardo, that on which something turns or depends, orig., door hinge: see scherzo
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
Origin: ME < LL(Ec) cardinalis, chief presbyter, cardinal < the L adj.
See cardinal in American Heritage Dictionary 4
Origin: Middle English
Origin: , from Late Latin cardinālis, principal, pivotal
Origin: , from Latin, serving as a hinge
Origin: , from cardō, cardin-, hinge.
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