Definition of cardinal adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

 

cardinal

 adjective
adjective
NAmE//ˈkɑrdnəl//
 
, NAmE//ˈkɑrdn̩əl//
 
[only before noun](formal)
 
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most important; having other things based on it Freedom of expression is a cardinal principle of U.S. law.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: cardinal