from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Of foremost importance; paramount: a cardinal rule; cardinal sins.
- adj. Dark to deep or vivid red.
- n. 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.
- n. A dark to deep or vivid red.
- n. A North American finch (Cardinalis cardinalis) having a crested head, a short thick bill, and bright red plumage in the male.
- n. A short hooded cloak, originally of scarlet cloth, worn by women in the 18th century.
- n. A cardinal number.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Of fundamental importance; crucial, pivotal.
- adj. Of or relating to the cardinal directions (north, south, east and west).
- adj. Describing a "natural" number used to indicate quantity (e.g., one, two, three), as opposed to an ordinal number indicating relative position.
- adj. Having a bright red color (from the color of a Catholic cardinal's cassock).
- n. A number indicating quantity, or the size of a set, e.g., one, two, three. (See Wikipedia article on Cardinal number.)
- n. An official in the Catholic Church, ranking only below the Pope and the patriarchs. (See Wikipedia article on Catholic cardinals.)
- n. A songbird of the finch family, Cardinalis cardinalis.
- n. Any of various related passerine birds of the family Cardinalidae. (See Wikipedia article on cardinal birds.)
- n. A shade of scarlet associated with the colour of a Catholic cardinal's cassock.
- n. A woman's short cloak with a hood.
- n. mulled red wine
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Of fundamental importance; preëminent; superior; chief; principal.
- n. One of the ecclesiastical princes who constitute the pope's council, or the sacred college.
- n. A woman's short cloak with a hood.
- n. Mulled red wine.
- n. the cardinal bird, also called the northern cardinal.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a hinge; noting that on which something else hinges or depends; hence, chief; fundamental; preëminent; of special importance: as, cardinal virtues or sins; the cardinal doctrines of a creed; the cardinal points.
- In conchology, of or relating to the hinge of a bivalve shell: as, cardinal teeth.
- In entomology, pertaining to the cardo or base of the maxilla, which is sometimes called the cardinal piece.
- [See II., 3.] Of a rich deep-red color, somewhat less vivid than scarlet.
- In astrology, the rising and setting of the sun, the zenith, and the nadir.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. being or denoting a numerical quantity but not order
- n. the number of elements in a mathematical set; denotes a quantity but not the order
- adj. serving as an essential component
- n. (Roman Catholic Church) one of a group of more than 100 prominent bishops in the Sacred College who advise the Pope and elect new Popes
- n. crested thick-billed North American finch having bright red plumage in the male
- n. a variable color averaging a vivid red
By the term cardinal (Cardinalis) was originally understood every priest permanently attached to a church, every clericus, either intitulatus or incardinatus.
(Land's ed. of the Opera, The Hague, 1891-93) is a study of what he termed the cardinal virtues.
The Fhilofopheny in their diftribution of virtues have generally agreed upon four J which they call cardinal, becaufc all the reii: do turn upon them as upon their hinges.
I mean, imagine what would happen if certain cardinal numbers were to be regarded as not consistent with Christian belief.
The former cardinal is now very happy to have been promoted to such a high position, knowing he will now be remembered forever.
Within a few months of attaining the title of Pope Sixtus IV, he bestowed the title of cardinal upon six of his nephews.
But many Catholics in the developing world are disappointed an African or a Latin American cardinal did not become pope.
Those who recite the Divine Office find constantly recurring what seems to be the earliest instance of the word cardinal as applied to the virtues.
It was only natural, therefore, that in the end the name cardinal, which until late in the Middle Ages was borne by the principal ecclesiastics of the more important churches, should be reserved for the Roman cardinals.
On one occasion he called the cardinal "the Grand Turk," and the remark was reported to his mother, who sent for him and scolded him severely for it.