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multitude of sins

Fig. many kinds of sins or errors. The term offensive covers a multitude of sins.
See also: multitude, of, sin

hide a multitude of sins

also cover a multitude of sins
to prevent people from noticing something bad I'm a messy eater, so I always wear black – it hides a multitude of sins.
Etymology: based on the saying love covers a multitude of sins from the Bible
See also: hide, multitude, of, sin

cover/hide a multitude of sins

if something hides a multitude of sins, it prevents people from seeing or discovering something bad Big sweaters are warm and practical and they hide a multitude of sins.
See also: cover, multitude, of, sin

multitude of sins, cover a

Compensate for numerous evils, as in You may not be offering to help with the fair, but that big donation covers a multitude of sins . This expression originated in the New Testament (I Peter 4:8): "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."
See also: cover, multitude, of
References in classic literature ?
This feat of horsemanship again attracted the applause of the multitude.
But no sooner had the knights resumed their station, than the clamour of applause was hushed into a silence, so deep and so dead, that it seemed the multitude were afraid even to breathe.
I know and feel that I am enchanted, and that is enough to ease my conscience; for it would weigh heavily on it if I thought that I was not enchanted, and that in a aint-hearted and cowardly way I allowed myself to lie in this cage, defrauding multitudes of the succour I might afford to those in need and distress, who at this very moment may be in sore want of my aid and protection.
The heat and dust had already been at work upon this multitude.
They struck eastward through Hadley, and there on either side of the road, and at another place farther on they came upon a great multitude of people drinking at the stream, some fighting to come at the water.
When at some distance from the multitude, the old man turned slowly round, displaying a face of antique majesty, rendered doubly venerable by the hoary beard that descended on his breast.
This building appeared to be the head-quarters of the valley, where all flying rumours concentrated; and to have seen it filled with a crowd of the natives, all males, conversing in animated clusters, while multitudes were continually coming and going, one would have thought it a kind of savage Exchange, where the rise and fall of Polynesian Stock was discussed.
Obedient to this call, a great multitude come together, most of them with a listless gait, betokening weariness of soul, yet with a gleam of satisfaction in their faces, at a prospect of at length reaching those positions which, hitherto, they have vainly sought.
The General spoke very earnestly and impressively, but when he had finished the bear-man began to laugh as if much amused, and his laughter seemed to be echoed by a chorus of merriment from an unseen multitude.
that's easily seen," said the prince, laughing, "for a few score English archers at yonder end are bellowing as though they would out-shout the mighty multitude.
Up till nightfall, a dull, noiseless agitation, such as precedes great catastrophes, ran through the anxious multitude.
Several eminent naturalists have of late published their belief that a multitude of reputed species in each genus are not real species; but that other species are real, that is, have been independently created.
First the great multitude of the weak must go, then the only relatively strong.
Here an immense multitude was collected, bearing flags of various kinds and sizes, but all of the same colour--blue, like the cockades--some sections marching to and fro in military array, and others drawn up in circles, squares, and lines.
for I have heard How, when the Ch`is and Weis embattled rose Along the frontier, when the Chings and Hans Gathered their multitudes, a myriad leagues Of utter weariness they trod.