Hypertext Webster Gateway: "cardinal"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Cardinal \Car"di*nal\, a. [L. cardinalis, fr. cardo the hinge of
a door, that on which a thing turns or depends: cf. F.
Of fundamental importance; pre["e]minent; superior; chief;

The cardinal intersections of the zodiac. --Sir T.

Impudence is now a cardinal virtue. --Drayton.

But cardinal sins, and hollow hearts, I fear ye.

{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

{Cardinal teeth} (Zo["o]l.), 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

{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.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

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.

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

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.

2. A woman's short cloak with a hood.

Where's your cardinal! Make haste. --Lloyd.

3. Mulled red wine. --Hotten.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

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: {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}]
3: a variable color averaging a vivid red [syn: {carmine}]
4: crested thick-billed North American finch having bright red
plumage in the male [syn: {cardinal grosbeak}, {Richmondena
Cardinalis}, {Cardinalis cardinalis}, {redbird}]

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