n. a basic characteristic (trait) which pervades one's personality and dominates a person's character. Sometimes referred to as a personal trait that leads to a core value, it tends to guide and govern the total behavior of an individual. First defined by U.S. psychologist Gordon Willard Allport in 1936.

CARDINAL TRAIT: "Being the strongest and most influential of all, a cardinal trait overrides and overrules all other traits."
Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "CARDINAL TRAIT," in, April 7, 2013, (accessed August 5, 2021).