Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “cardinal”

See all translations

cardinal

noun [C] uk   /ˈkɑː.dɪ.nəl/ us    /ˈkɑːr-/

cardinal noun [C] (PRIEST)

a priest of very high rank in the Roman Catholic Church: Cardinals elect and advise the Pope.

cardinal noun [C] (NUMBER)

( also cardinal number) a number that represents amount, such as 1, 2, 3, rather than order, such as 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Compare

cardinal noun [C] (BIRD)

a North American bird, the male of which has bright red feathers

cardinal

adjective [before noun] uk   /ˈkɑː.dɪ.nəl/ us    /ˈkɑːr-/
of great importance: a cardinal rule/error/sin
(Definition of cardinal from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of cardinal?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “cardinal” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

illusion

an idea or belief that is not true

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More