Meaning of CARDINAL in English

[car.di.nal] n [ME, fr. ML cardinalis, fr. LL cardinalis, adj.] (12c) 1: a high ecclesiastical official of the Roman Catholic Church who ranks next below the pope and is appointed by him to assist him as a member of the college of cardinals

2: cardinal number--usu. used in pl.

3: a woman's short hooded cloak orig. of scarlet cloth

4. [fr. its color, resembling that of the cardinal's robes]: a crested finch (Cardinalis cardinalis) of the eastern U.S. and adjacent Canada, the southwestern U.S., and Mexico to Belize which has a black face and heavy red bill in both sexes and is nearly completely red in the male -- car.di.nal.ship n

[2]cardinal adj [ME, fr. LL cardinalis, fr. L, serving as a hinge, fr. cardin-, cardo hinge] (14c): of basic importance: main, chief, primary syn see essential -- adv

Merriam-Webster English vocab.      Английский словарь Merriam Webster.