Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

cardinal sin - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable]     cardinal sin pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
singularcardinal sin
pluralcardinal sins
  1. 1
    humorous something that is considered to be bad or wrong and that you must not do
  2. 2
    something that the Christian religion says is bad and that you must not do

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play