Cardinals



of prime importance; chief; principal:
of cardinal significance.
of the color cardinal.
Roman Catholic Church. a high ecclesiastic appointed by the pope to the College of Cardinals and ranking above every other ecclesiastic but the pope.
Also called cardinal grosbeak. a crested grosbeak, Cardinalis cardinalis, of North America, the male of which is bright red.
any of various similar birds.
a deep, rich red color.
a woman’s short cloak with a hood, originally made of scarlet cloth and popularly worn in the 18th century.
cardinal number.
Contemporary Examples

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, has insisted that “no woman” and “no cardinals” are under investigation.
The Pope’s Butler Silenced in VatiLeaks Investigation Barbie Latza Nadeau May 29, 2012

Tim Marchman talks to former cardinals manager Tony La Russa on managing after a death.
After Jovan Belcher: Tony La Russa on How a Team Comes Back From Tragedy Tim Marchman December 2, 2012

As the conclave for new pope nears, Catholics are calling for cardinals embroiled in sex-abuse scandals to abstain from voting.
Should Sex-Abuse-Scandal Cardinals Be Allowed to Vote for New Pope? Barbie Latza Nadeau February 20, 2013

The cardinals were also required to swear an oath of fidelity to “Blessed Peter in the person of the Supreme Pontiff.”
Who Really Put the Pope in Charge? Candida Moss April 26, 2014

The Italian cardinals could be the kingmakers when it comes to picking the next pope.
Italian Cardinals: The Goodfellas of God Barbie Latza Nadeau March 12, 2013

Historical Examples

And immediately the door bursting open, an Officer of the cardinals Guard, with a file of soldiers, entered the church.
Richelieu, v. 3/3 G. P. R. James

The cardinals kissed the Pope’s hand, the priests his toe or foot.
The Story of My Life Egerton Ryerson

It has never, for instance, been considered necessary to cite the names of the cardinals composing that regiment of victims.
The Life of Cesare Borgia Raphael Sabatini

He called upon the Pope and cardinals to return at once to Rome.
The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 Various

He glanced around and saw that Ugolini and a number of other cardinals, both French and Italian, had gathered to listen.
The Saracen: Land of the Infidel Robert Shea

noun
(RC Church) any of the members of the Sacred College, ranking next after the pope, who elect the pope and act as his chief counsellors
Also called cardinal red. a deep vivid red colour
See cardinal number
Also called cardinal grosbeak, (US) redbird. a crested North American bunting, Richmondena (or Pyrrhuloxia) cardinalis, the male of which has a bright red plumage and the female a brown one
a fritillary butterfly, Pandoriana pandora, found in meadows of southern Europe
a woman’s hooded shoulder cape worn in the 17th and 18th centuries
adjective
(usually prenominal) fundamentally important; principal: cardinal sin
of a deep vivid red colour
(astrology) of or relating to the signs Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn Compare mutable (sense 2), fixed (sense 10)
n.

early 12c., “one of the ecclesiastical princes who constitute the sacred college” (short for cardinalis ecclesiae Romanae or episcopus cardinalis), from Latin cardinalis “principal, chief, essential” (see cardinal (adj.)).

Ecclesiastical use began for the presbyters of the chief (cardinal) churches of Rome. The North American songbird (Cardinalis virginianus) is attested from 1670s, so named for its resemblance to the cardinals in their red robes.
adj.

“chief, pivotal,” early 14c., from Latin cardinalis “principal, chief, essential,” from cardo (genitive cardinis) “that on which something turns or depends; pole of the sky,” originally “door hinge,” of unknown origin. Related: Cardinally.

The cardinal points (1540s) are north, south, east, west. The cardinal sins (c.1600) are too well known to require rehearsal. The cardinal virtues (c.1300) were divided into natural (justice prudence, temperance, fortitude) and theological (faith, hope, charity). The natural ones were the original classical ones, which were amended by Christians. But typically in Middle English only the first four were counted as the cardinal virtues:

Of þe uour uirtues cardinales spekeþ moche þe yealde philosofes. [“Ayenbite of Inwyt,” c.1340]

By analogy of this, and cardinal points, cardinal winds, cardinal signs (four zodiacal signs marking the equinoxes and the solstices), the adjective in Middle English acquired an association with the number four.

A group of prominent bishops of the Roman Catholic Church who advise the pope and elect new popes.

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    the body of cardinals. the office, rank, or dignity of a cardinal. Historical Examples On the deliberate exclusion of the humanists from the cardinalate by the popes before Leo, comp. The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy Jacob Burckhardt He died in 1638, just as the cardinalate was to be conferred upon him. Encyclopaedia Britannica, […]

  • Cardinality

    (of a set) the cardinal number indicating the number of elements in the set. noun (maths) the property of possessing a cardinal number (maths, logic) (of a class) the cardinal number associated with the given class. Two classes have the same cardinality if they can be put in one-to-one correspondence n. 1520s, “condition of being […]



  • Cardinally

    of prime importance; chief; principal: of cardinal significance. of the color cardinal. Roman Catholic Church. a high ecclesiastic appointed by the pope to the College of Cardinals and ranking above every other ecclesiastic but the pope. Also called cardinal grosbeak. a crested grosbeak, Cardinalis cardinalis, of North America, the male of which is bright red. […]

  • Carding

    the process in which fibers, as cotton, worsted, or wool, are manipulated into sliver form prior to spinning. a usually rectangular piece of stiff paper, thin pasteboard, or plastic for various uses, as to write information on or printed as a means of identifying the holder: a 3″ × 5″ file card; a membership card. […]



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