1. (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;
2. the number of elements in a mathematical set; denotes a quantity but not the order;
[syn: cardinal number, cardinal]
3. a variable color averaging a vivid red;
[syn: cardinal, carmine]
4. crested thick-billed North American finch having bright red plumage in the male;
[syn: cardinal, cardinal grosbeak, Richmondena Cardinalis, Cardinalis cardinalis, redbird]
1. serving as an essential component;
- Example: "a cardinal rule"
- Example: "the central cause of the problem"
- Example: "an example that was fundamental to the argument"
- Example: "computers are fundamental to modern industrial structure"
[syn: cardinal, central, fundamental, key, primal]
2. being or denoting a numerical quantity but not order;
- Example: "cardinal numbers"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Cardinal \Car"di*nal\, a. [L. cardinalis, fr. cardo the hinge of a door, that on which a thing turns or depends: cf. F. cardinal.] Of fundamental importance; pre["e]minent; superior; chief; principal. [1913 Webster] The cardinal intersections of the zodiac. --Sir T. Browne. [1913 Webster] Impudence is now a cardinal virtue. --Drayton. [1913 Webster] But cardinal sins, and hollow hearts, I fear ye. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Cardinal numbers, the numbers one, two, three, etc., in distinction from first, second, third, etc., which are called ordinal numbers. Cardinal points (a) (Geol.) The four principal points of the compass, or intersections of the horizon with the meridian and the prime vertical circle, north, south east, and west. (b) (Astrol.) The rising and setting of the sun, the zenith and nadir. Cardinal signs (Astron.) Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn. Cardinal teeth (Zool.), the central teeth of bivalve shell. See Bivalve. Cardinal veins (Anat.), the veins in vertebrate embryos, which run each side of the vertebral column and returm the blood to the heart. They remain through life in some fishes. Cardinal virtues, pre["e]minent virtues; among the ancients, prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. Cardinal winds, winds which blow from the cardinal points due north, south, east, or west. [1913 Webster]The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Cardinal \Car"di*nal\, n. [F. carinal, It. cardinale, LL. cardinalis (ecclesi[ae] Roman[ae]). See Cardinal, a.] 1. (R. C. Ch.) One of the ecclesiastical princes who constitute the pope's council, or the sacred college. [1913 Webster] The clerics of the supreme Chair are called Cardinals, as undoubtedly adhering more nearly to the hinge by which all things are moved. --Pope Leo IX. [1913 Webster] Note: The cardinals are appointed by the pope. Since the time of Sixtus V., their number can never exceed seventy (six of episcopal rank, fifty priests, fourteen deacons), and the number of cardinal priests and deacons is seldom full. When the papel chair is vacant a pope is elected by the college of cardinals from among themselves. The cardinals take precedence of all dignitaries except the pope. The principal parts of a cardinal's costume are a red cassock, a rochet, a short purple mantle, and a red hat with a small crown and broad brim, with cords and tessels of a special pattern hanging from it. [1913 Webster] 2. A woman's short cloak with a hood. [1913 Webster] Where's your cardinal! Make haste. --Lloyd. [1913 Webster] 3. Mulled red wine. --Hotten. [1913 Webster] 4. the cardinal bird, also called the northern cardinal. [PJC] Cardinal bird, or Cardinal grosbeak (Zool.), an American song bird (Cardinalis cardinalis, or Cardinalis Virginianus), of the family Fringillid[ae], or finches of which the male has a bright red plumage, and both sexes have a high, pointed crest on its head; -- it is also called the northern cardinal or eastern cardinal. The males have loud and musical notes resembling those of a fife. Other related species are also called cardinal birds. Cardinal flower (Bot.), an herbaceous plant (Lobelia cardinalis) bearing brilliant red flowers of much beauty. Cardinal red, a color like that of a cardinal's cassock, hat, etc.; a bright red, darker than scarlet, and between scarlet and crimson. [1913 Webster]WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
cardinal adj 1: serving as an essential component; "a cardinal rule"; "the central cause of the problem"; "an example that was fundamental to the argument"; "computers are fundamental to modern industrial structure" [syn: cardinal, central, fundamental, key, primal] 2: being or denoting a numerical quantity but not order; "cardinal numbers" [ant: ordinal] n 1: (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 2: the number of elements in a mathematical set; denotes a quantity but not the order [syn: cardinal number, cardinal] 3: a variable color averaging a vivid red [syn: cardinal, carmine] 4: crested thick-billed North American finch having bright red plumage in the male [syn: cardinal, cardinal grosbeak, Richmondena Cardinalis, Cardinalis cardinalis, redbird]Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
213 Moby Thesaurus words for "cardinal": Gaussian integer, Grand Penitentiary, Holy Father, Titian, Titian-red, abuna, algebraic number, algorismic, algorithmic, aliquot, all-absorbing, antipope, arch, archbishop, archdeacon, archpriest, banner, bishop, bishop coadjutor, bricky, canon, capital, cardinal bishop, cardinal deacon, cardinal number, cardinal priest, carmine, carnation, carnelian, central, cerise, champion, chaplain, cherry, cherry-colored, cherry-red, chief, coadjutor, complex number, constitutive, controlling, crimson, crowning, curate, damask, dean, decimal, defective number, differential, digital, diocesan, dominant, ecclesiarch, essential, even, even number, exarch, exponential, ferruginous, fiery, figural, figurate, figurative, finite, finite number, fire-red, first, flame-colored, flame-red, flaming, focal, foremost, fraction, fractional, fundamental, glowing, great, gules, headmost, hegemonic, hierarch, high priest, highest, hot, imaginary, imaginary number, impair, important, impossible, incarmined, infinite, infinity, inflamed, infrared, integer, integral, iron-red, irrational, irrational number, key, lake-colored, laky, lateritious, leading, lobster-red, logarithmic, logometric, lurid, magisterial, main, maroon, master, metropolitan, mixed number, necessary, negative, numeral, numerary, numerative, numeric, odd, ordinal, overriding, overruling, pair, papa, paramount, patriarch, penitentiary, pivotal, polygonal number, pontiff, pope, port-wine, positive, possible, prebendary, predominant, preeminent, prelate, premier, preponderant, prevailing, primal, primary, primate, prime, prime number, principal, puce, pure imaginary, radical, ranking, rational, rational number, real, real number, reciprocal, rectangular number, rector, red, red-dyed, red-looking, reddened, reddish, reddish-amber, reddish-brown, round number, rubicund, rubiginous, rubric, rubricose, ruby, ruby-colored, ruby-red, ruddied, ruddy, rufescent, rufous, ruling, rural dean, rust, rust-red, rusty, scarlet, serial number, sovereign, special, stammel, star, stellar, subdean, submultiple, suffragan, supereminent, supreme, surd, tile-red, topflight, topmost, transcendental, transcendental number, transfinite number, uppermost, vermilion, vicar, vinaceous, vital, warm, whole number, wine, wine-colored, wine-redBouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
CARDINAL, eccl. law. The title given to one of the highest dignitaries of the court of Rome. Cardinals are next to the pope in dignity; he is elected by them and out of their body. There are cardinal bishops, cardinal priests, and cardinal deacons. See Fleury, Hist. Eccles. liv. xxxv. n. 17, II. n. 19 Thomassin, part ii. liv. i. oh. 53, part iv. liv. i. c. 79, 80 Loiseau, Traite des Ordres, c. 3, n. 31; Andre, Droit Canon, au mot.