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sin /sɪn/
noun
1 a sin in the eyes of God: IMMORAL ACT, wrong, wrongdoing, act of evil/wickedness, transgression, crime, offense, misdeed, misdemeanor; archaic trespass.
2
the human capacity for sin: WICKEDNESS, wrongdoing, wrong, evil, evildoing, sinfulness, immorality, iniquity, vice, crime. ANTONYMS virtue.
3 informal
they've cut the school music program—it's a sin: scandal, crime, disgrace, outrage.

verb
I have sinned: COMMIT A SIN, commit an offense, transgress, do wrong, commit a crime, break the law, misbehave, go astray; archaic trespass.

ORIGIN
Old English
synn (noun), syngian (verb); probably related to Latin sons, sont- ‘guilty’.

Choose the right word

sin, crime, fault, indiscretion, offense, transgression, vice

If you've ever driven through a red light or chewed with your mouth open, you've committed an
offense, which is a broad term covering any violation of the law or of standards of propriety and taste. A sin, on the other hand, is an act that specifically violates a religious, ethical, or moral standard (to marry someone of another faith was considered a sin). Transgression is a weightier and more serious word for sin, suggesting any violation of an agreed-upon set of rules (their behavior was clearly a transgression of the terms set forth in the treaty). A crime is any act forbidden by law and punishable upon conviction (a crime for which he was sentenced to death). A vice has less to do with violating the law and more to do with habits and practices that debase a person's character (alcohol was her only vice). Fault and indiscretion are gentler words, although they may be used as euphemisms for sin or crime. A fault is an unsatisfactory feature in someone's character (she is exuberant to a fault), while indiscretion refers to an unwise or improper action (speaking to the media was an indiscretion for which she was chastised). In recent years, however, indiscretion has become a euphemism for such sins as adultery, as if to excuse such behavior by attributing it to a momentary lapse of judgment (his indiscretions were no secret).

Last week's word

quirky
/ˈkw3ːrki/
adjective (quirkier, quirkiest)
characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits:
her sense of humor was decidedly quirky.

THESAURUS
quirky /ˈkw3ːrki/
adjective
her quirky outfits: ECCENTRIC, idiosyncratic, unconventional, unorthodox, unusual, strange, bizarre, peculiar, odd, outlandish, zany; informal wacky, freaky, kinky, way-out, far out, kooky, offbeat. ANTONYMS conventional.

Word Toolkit
eccentric
quirky
bizarre
millionaire
comedy
twist
inventor
humor
coincidence
loner
mannerism
ritual
recluse
charm
antics
aristocrat
lyric
spectacle
genius
sensibility
juxtaposition
uncle
melody
incident
spinster
styling
behavior

REFLECTIONS
Conversational, opinionated and idiomatic, these Word Notes are an opportunity to see a working writer's perspective on a particular word or usage.
David Auburn
quirky

Just as the British use clever as a backhanded insult, meaning 'merely clever, not actually intelligent or thoughtful,'
quirky is often used to mean 'mildly and harmlessly peculiar' with 'and totally uninteresting' implied. I hate quirky and hate having it applied to my own writing. I would rather receive a negative review that didn't use this word than a rave that did.