besetting sin

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besetting sin

A flaw or shortcoming that someone or something tends to display. I doubt she'll listen to everything you have to say—her lack of patience is a besetting sin.
See also: sin

besetting sin

a fault to which a person or institution is especially prone; a characteristic weakness.
The verb beset literally means ‘surround with hostile intent’, so the image is of a sin besieging or pressing in upon a person.
1974 Donal Scannell Mother Knew Best Mother said vanity was a besetting sin which Amy resented, to say the least of it.
See also: sin
References in periodicals archive ?
There was one element of your speech that did address almost the whole of the Muslim world: your stark, unambiguous condemnation of gender bias, one of the besetting sins of the "Muslim world".
One of Germany's besetting sins, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, was to encourage yields so high, with juice so dilute, it was almost impossible for the grapes to have any flavour.
Nothing less than political philosophy and its openness to higher truth, truths of faith and reason, will save modernity from the besetting sins of ideology and fanaticism.
He had a mullet and cranked the Allman Brothers and was one of the few people on earth to whom you would unreservedly loan money or confess besetting sins.
One of the besetting sins of attempts to find topical meaning in early modern drama," Durton rightly points out, "has been a determination to make the parallels too thorough and exact, explaining every detail" (xvii).
evidence of immodesty and egotism, the besetting sins of liberalism