Definition of cardinal noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈkɑːdɪnl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːrdɪnl//
    Religious people, Birds
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  1. 1 a priest of the highest rank in the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinals elect and advise the Pope. Cardinal Newman See related entries: Religious people
  2. 2 (also cardinal number) a number, such as 1, 2 and 3 (or one, two and three), used to show quantity rather than order compare ordinal
  3. 3 a N American bird. The male cardinal is bright red. See related entries: Birds
  4. Word OriginOld English, from Latin cardinalis, from cardo, cardin- ‘hinge’. Sense (1) has arisen through the notion of the important function of such priests as “pivots” of church life.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cardinal