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



    BrE BrE//sɪn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɪn//
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  1. 1[countable] an offence 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. CollocationsReligionBeing religious believe in God/​Christ/​Allah/​free will/​predestination/​heaven and hell/​an afterlife/​reincarnation be/​become a believer/​an atheist/​an agnostic/​a Christian/​Muslim/​Hindu/​Buddhist, etc. convert to/​practise/ (especially US English) practice a religion/​Buddhism/​Catholicism/​Christianity/​Islam/​Judaism, etc. go to church/(North American English) temple (= the synagogue) go to the local church/​mosque/​synagogue/​gurdwara belong to a church/​a religious community join/​enter the church/​a convent/​a monastery/​a religious sect/​the clergy/​the priesthood 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 mitzvah carry out/​perform a sacred/​burial/​funeral/​fertility/​purification rite go on/​make a pilgrimage celebrate Christmas/​Easter/​Eid/​Ramadan/​Hanukkah/​Passover/​Diwali 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 study/​follow the dharma/​the teachings of Buddha read/​study/​understand/​interpret scripture/​the Bible/​the Koran/​the gospel/​the Torah be based on/​derive from divine revelation commit/​consider something heresy/​sacrilegeReligious belief and experience seek/​find/​gain enlightenment/​wisdom strengthen/​lose your faith keep/​practise/​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.
  4. see also sinful, sinner
    Word Originnoun Old English synn (noun), syngian (verb); probably related to Latin sons, sont- ‘guilty’.Extra examples Even politicians are not immune from the sins of the flesh. It’s considered a sin to be disrespectful to your parents. Our sons will pay for the sins of their fathers. Sin against others is seen as a sin against God. The besetting sin of 18th-century urban Britain was drunkenness. They had confessed their sins and done their penance. They would have to expiate their sins through suffering. We believe in the forgiveness of sins. We have repented for past sins. Now it’s time to move on. sin taxes on cigarettes and alcohol the Christian doctrine of original sin Believers are called on to turn away from sin and embrace a life of prayer. Father, I have committed a sin. He was pursuing an active life of sin when he felt the Lord speaking to him. It’s a sin to waste taxpayers’ money like that.Idioms
    be/do something for your sins
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    (informal, humorous, especially British English) used to say that something that somebody does is like a punishment She works with us in Accounts, for her sins!
    cover/hide a multitude of sins
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    (often humorous) 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.
    (old-fashioned or humorous) to live together and have a sexual relationship without being married
    (as) miserable/ugly as sin
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    (informal) used to emphasize that somebody is very unhappy or ugly More Like ThisSimiles in idioms (as) bald as a coot, (as) blind as a bat, (as) bright as a button, (as) bold as brass, as busy as a bee, as clean as a whistle, (as) dead as a/​the dodo, (as) deaf as a post, (as) dull as ditchwater, (as) fit as a fiddle, as flat as a pancake, (as) good as gold, (as) mad as a hatter/​a March hare, (as) miserable/​ugly as sin, as old as the hills, (as) pleased as Punch, as pretty as a picture, (as) regular as clockwork, (as) quick as a flash, (as) safe as houses, (as) sound as a bell, (as) steady as a rock, (as) thick as two short planks, (as) tough as old bootsSee worksheet. See related entries: Unhappiness
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sin