venial

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj venial easily excused or forgiven "a venial error"
    • adj venial warranting only temporal punishment "venial sin"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Venial Allowed; permitted. "Permitting him the while venial discourse unblamed."
    • Venial Capable of being forgiven; not heinous; excusable; pardonable; as, a venial fault or transgression. "So they do nothing, 't is a venial slip."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • venial That may be forgiven; pardonable; not very sinful or wrong: as, a venial sin or transgression. See sin, 1.
    • venial Excusable; that may be allowed or permitted to pass without severe censure.
    • venial Permissible; harmless; unobjectionable.
    • venial Synonyms and Venial, Excusable, Pardonable. Excusable and pardonable are applied to things small and great, but pardonable primarily applies to greater offenses, as pardoning is a more serious act than excusing. Excusable may be applied where the offense is only in seeming. Venial applies to things actually done; the others may apply to infirmities and the like. Venial, by theological use, is often opposed, more or less clearly, to mortal.
    • n venial A venial sin or offense.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Venial vē′ni-al pardonable: excusable: allowed
    • ***

Quotations

  • Theodore Tronchin
    Theodore Tronchin
    “In medicine sins of commission are mortal, sins of omission are venial.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. venial, F. véniel, L. venialis, from venia, forgiveness, pardon, grace, favor, kindness; akin to venerari, to venerate. See Venerate
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. venialis, pardonable—venia, pardon.

Usage

In literature:

Prisoners of previous good character, and guilty only of venial crimes.
"Elizabeth Fry" by Mrs. E. R. Pitman
Aristocracy is not an institution: aristocracy is a sin; generally a very venial one.
"Orthodoxy" by G. K. Chesterton
His very weaknesses seemed homely and venial.
"The Half-Hearted" by John Buchan
Sister Gabrielle, you tempt us this evening to commit the sin of gluttony, which is the most venial of all sins.
"In the Field (1914-1915)" by Marcel Dupont
Likewise, certain sins are usually venial, but in certain circumstances a venial sin may take on such malice as to be constituted mortal.
"Explanation of Catholic Morals" by John H. Stapleton
I had not meant, however, to expatiate upon his defects, which are of the slenderest and most venial kind.
"Hawthorne" by Henry James, Junr.
Such righteousness as his had venial sins to expiate, what hope was there left for men of ordinary earthly passions and failings?
"The White Sister" by F. Marion Crawford
The child, who teaches its grandmother to suck eggs, commits a venial fault in comparison.
"Gallipoli Diary, Volume I" by Ian Hamilton
It does not get to be regarded as venial.
"Plain Facts for Old and Young" by John Harvey Kellogg
And yet, thy crime was venial, and one easily forgiven: for she is very pretty, as I am not.
"The Substance of a Dream" by F. W. Bain
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In poetry:

When venial crimes in Love's gay spring,
Prompt the youthful Female's sigh;
When her roses all take wing,
And Matrons sage her plight descry;
"The Culprit" by Nathaniel Bloomfield
Small venial sins alone, as some maintain,
Before the Purgatorial court appear,
Others believe it, full as strong and plain,
That deadly sins are only punish'd, there.
"Concerning Purgatory " by Rees Prichard
Once upon a time, in days remote,
A politician bought a vote.
The price he paid is not quite clear,
But probably a pot of beer
Secured his end. But he got in;
So folk excused this venial sin.
"The Genesis of Gloom [Australian Variety]" by C J Dennis
Eliab.
A spy upon our actions; sent, no doubt,
To scan our deeds, with beardless gravity Affecting wisdom; to observe each word,
To magnify the venial faults of youth, And construe harmless mirth to foul offence.
"David And Goliath. A Sacred Drama" by Hannah More