What Are the Symbols of the Seven Deadly Sins?

By Staff WriterLast Updated May 27, 2020 7:30:57 PM ET
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The seven deadly sins are a classification of sins that will hinder your spiritual growth. The concept of the seven deadly sins doesn’t come from the Bible. Instead, it stems from early church traditions. The seven deadly sins are pride, envy, lust, sloth, gluttony, greed and wrath. Multiple symbols represent each of them.


The sin of pride stems from taking too high a view of yourself, your abilities and your qualities. The Bible says that the sin of pride was what led the angel Lucifer to be banished from heaven and become Satan. Satan used the lure of pride to lead Adam and Eve to sin.

There are several symbols that represent the sin of pride. Animal symbols for pride are the horse, lion and peacock — majestic animals that can easily appear proud or arrogant. The color purple, a traditional symbol of royalty, also represents the sin of pride.


Envy is the constant desire for what others have that you don’t have. Jealousy and envy go hand in hand. They can become unhealthy behaviors that lead people to become miserable and unsatisfied with their lives.

The dog is the animal symbol for envy, presumably because dogs often tend to go after the food and items that other dogs have. The color green is a symbol for envy, which makes sense when you think of the phrase “green with envy.”


Lust refers to overwhelming sexual desire. The act of lust leads to all sorts of sins, crimes and other problems that range from adultery to pornography. Giving into lust can destroy relationships and lead those who sin this way to become miserable and lonely. Lust can also be a strong, unhealthy desire for anything else. The cow and snake symbolize lust. The color blue represents that sin as well, possibly because of the sadness that follows sin.


Many times we think of the word sloth as representing laziness, but it can be much more than merely not doing anything. Sloth can also mean procrastination or refusing to do something good that you need to do instead of meaningless pleasure. The Bible warns against any type of laziness, so sloth is a serious category of sins.

You would think that the sloth would be the animal that represents the sin that shares its name, but the animal symbol of sloth is the goat. Light blue is the color that corresponds with sloth because of its associations with daydreaming.


Gluttony is the sin of overeating and overindulging in more than what you need to survive. Of course, we think of eating when we think of gluttony, but the sin can also refer to any type of pleasure or material desire. Gluttony leads us to want more and more of what’s unhealthy for us. 

Naturally, the pig represents gluttony because everyone thinks of pigs as overeating. The color orange represents gluttony. Color experts believe that the color orange stimulates your appetite, which is why restaurants often use shades of orange in their decor.


Greed is similar to envy or jealousy in that it leads you to desire more of what other people have. But greed refers more specifically to money and other forms of material wealth. Greed puts your own wants above those of others, and it links in many ways to the other deadly sins.

The frog represents greed, although the reasons for that symbolism aren’t clear. Yellow is the color that corresponds with greed because of its similarity to gold.

Wrath, or Anger

Wrath is the type of anger that leads you to lash out and act in ways that harm others. There’s a type of anger that drives you to do good and just things, but wrath is the opposite sort of anger. Wrath leads to violence and broken relationships, and it’s the kind of emotion that festers until you regret what you’ve done.

The bear represents wrath because it’s a powerful animal that gets angry and aggressive. The color symbol for wrath is red, which makes sense because it’s the color of passion and the color that your face turns when you get angry.