Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Or is there really no sin but in thought, and are our sleeping thoughts incapable of sin?

They were sick-and so were the purest of their brethren—with the plague of sin.

Do not let this great and disastrous fall sink you into lower depths of sin.

Sin brings its punishment, and it is hard work, bearing its burden!

Never before had he seen his sin in the light in which it was now revealed by God's Word.

What might be unavoidable to one less instructed, would be sin in her!

It were sin, thought I, that my secret should perish with me.

Shakespeare told us the truth about himself when he wrote in sonnet 142, "Love is my sin."

Our sickness (sin) is revealed to us by the Ten Commandments.

How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?


Old English synn "moral wrongdoing, injury, mischief, enmity, feud, guilt, crime, offense against God, misdeed," from Proto-Germanic *sun(d)jo- "sin" (cf. Old Saxon sundia, Old Frisian sende, Middle Dutch sonde, Dutch zonde, German Sünde "sin, transgression, trespass, offense," extended forms), probably ultimately "it is true," i.e. "the sin is real" (cf. Gothic sonjis, Old Norse sannr "true"), from PIE *snt-ya-, a collective form from *es-ont- "becoming," present participle of root *es- "to be" (see is).

The semantic development is via notion of "to be truly the one (who is guilty)," as in Old Norse phrase verð sannr at "be found guilty of," and the use of the phrase "it is being" in Hittite confessional formula. The same process probably yielded the Latin word sons (genitive sontis) "guilty, criminal" from present participle of sum, esse "to be, that which is." Some etymologists believe the Germanic word was an early borrowing directly from the Latin genitive. Cf. also sooth.

Sin-eater is attested from 1680s. To live in sin "cohabit without marriage" is from 1838; used earlier in a more general sense. Ice hockey slang sin bin "penalty box" is attested from 1950.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.