Definition for Cardinal

cardinal, adj. [Fr. < L. cardinal-is, hinge, principal, chief.]

  1. Red cloaked priest; religious leader wearing a purple mantel; ecclesiastical prince clothed in scarlet; [word play] grosbeak; North American songbird with brilliant red plumage; [fig.] divine glow; heavenly source of intense light; horizon points at sunrise or sunset.
  2. Phrase. “Cardinal Flower”: scarlet lobelia; spike with blossoms; beautiful single-petal bloom; colorful perennial plant that grows in the woods.

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