Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a word for "one who has never sinned"? I can think of "innocent" of course, which means "free from sin or blame" except that it doesn't include the emphasis on not having sinned ever in the past.

share|improve this question
    
The word is "sinless". –  Ron Maimon Mar 3 '12 at 3:30
    
@RonMaimon The opposite of sinful is ןnɟuᴉs 😈 — or perhaps sinempty. 😇 –  tchrist Mar 3 '12 at 18:26
1  
@tchrist: what's wrong with sinless? "Judge, you say I have done wrong, but I am sinless as Christ and the virgin mother!" –  Ron Maimon Mar 3 '12 at 21:15
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

That word is immaculate, as in immaculate conception. Per the OED, it means

Free from spot or stain; pure, spotless, unblemished, undefiled. In fig. senses.

share|improve this answer
1  
Could impeccable work as well? They both appear as synonyms to the simple word "sinless". What is the difference? Can I say: "the sincerely repented enjoy the purity of the immaculate [i.e. one who has never sinned]"? –  Shivadas Mar 3 '12 at 2:19
1  
Per M-W yes impeccable can mean 'not capable of sinning or liable to sin' but it's more commonly used with the second meaning - flawless, without religious connotations. –  Lynn Mar 3 '12 at 2:24
    
@tchrist I thought there is a Christian name for such a person, isnt there? That, having come from Greek or Latin could have been used, right? –  karthik Mar 3 '12 at 13:43
1  
@Shivadas The orginal Latin sense of impeccable is no longer the most common one. Then again, the same can be said of immaculate. In modern parlance, these words are used without their religious senses, because the whole sin thing as “a transgression against God’s will” is not exactly prevalent in today’s Zeitgeist, so it will be given a secular interpretation. –  tchrist Mar 3 '12 at 18:25
    
@tchrist +1, agreed. –  karthik Mar 3 '12 at 18:37
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.