SIN – The Dictionary Definition Of The Term

Image provided by Relevant Magazine.

Image provided by Relevant Magazine.


1. transgression of divine law: the sin of Adam.
2. any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
3. any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense: It’s a sin to waste time.
verb (used without object), sinned, sin·ning.
4. to commit a sinful act.
5. to offend against a principle, standard, etc.


Divine Law

Divine law is any law that comes directly from the will of God, in contrast to man-made law. Like natural law (which may be seen as a manifestation of divine law) it is independent of the will of man, who cannot change it. However it may be revealed or not, so it may change in human perception in time through new revelation. Divine law is commonly equated with eternal law, meaning that if God is infinite, then his law must also be infinite and eternal.

In Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law, divine law, as opposed to natural law, comes only from revelation or scripture, hence biblical law, and is necessary for human salvation. According to Aquinas, divine law must not be confused with natural law. Divine law is mainly and mostly natural law, but it can also be positive law.

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Moral of the story

With all of the current discussion, heated debate, and “expert analysis” regarding agreements and disagreements about what is and is not to be classified as a sinful act, no one has as of yet taken the action of offering the dictionary definition of the term and concept known as sin so that any individual can then become an official expert on the matter by knowing how the term is officially defined by The Oxford Dictionary, the most trusted dictionary of the English Language, at least until now, because it is as listed above as yet another different and “in the know” perspective to consider.