American English

Definition of sin noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] an offense against God or against a religious or moral law to commit a sin Confess your sins to God and he will forgive you. The Bible says that stealing is a sin. Topic CollocationsReligionbeing religious believe in God/Christ/Allah/free will/predestination/heaven and hell/an afterlife/reincarnation be/become an agnostic/an atheist/a believer/a Buddhist/Christian/Hindu/Muslim, etc. convert to/practice a religion/Buddhism/Catholicism/Christianity/Islam/Judaism, etc. go to church/temple (= the synagogue) go to the local church/mosque/synagogue belong to a church/a religious community join/enter the Church/a convent/a monastery/the clergy/the priesthood/a religious sect/a cult praise/worship/obey/serve/glorify Godcelebrations and ritual attend/hold/conduct/lead a service perform a ceremony/a rite/a ritual/a baptism/the Hajj/a bar mitzvah/a bat mitzvah carry out/perform a sacred/burial/funeral/fertility/purification rite/the last rites go on/make a pilgrimage celebrate Christmas/Diwali/Easter/Eid/Hanukkah/Passover/Ramadan observe/break the Sabbath/a fast/Ramadan deliver/preach/hear a sermon lead/address the congregation say/recite a prayer/blessingreligious texts and ideas preach/proclaim/spread the word of God/the Gospel/the message of Islam/a message study/follow the dharma/the teachings of Buddha read/study/understand/interpret scripture/the Bible/the Koran/the Gospel/the Torah be based on/derived from divine revelation commit/consider something heresy/sacrilegereligious belief and experience seek/find/gain enlightenment/wisdom strengthen/lose/question your faith keep/practice/abandon the faith save/purify/lose your soul obey/follow/keep/break/violate a commandment/Islamic law/Jewish law be/accept/do God's will receive/experience divine grace achieve/attain enlightenment/salvation/nirvana undergo a conversion/rebirth/reincarnation hear/answer a prayer commit/confess/forgive a sin do/perform penance see also mortal sin, original sin
  2. 2[uncountable] the act of breaking a religious or moral law a life of sin
  3. 3[countable, usually singular] (informal) an action that people strongly disapprove of It's a sin to waste taxpayers' money like that. see also sinful, sinner
  4. Idioms
    cover/hide a multitude of sins (often humorous)
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    to hide the real situation or facts when these are not good or pleasant She was dressed in loose comfortable clothes that hid a multitude of sins.
    (as) guilty, miserable, ugly, etc. as sin (informal)
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    used to emphasize that someone is very guilty, etc.
    live in sin (old-fashioned or humorous)
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    to live together and have a sexual relationship without being married
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sin