- 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.