Word of the Day
Thursday, October 03, 2002

Definitions for venial

  1. Capable of being forgiven; not heinous; excusable; pardonable.

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Citations for venial
Look less severely on a venial error. Jean Racine, Phaedra (translated by Robert Bruce Boswell)
His mistake might in other circumstances have seemed a venial one. Michael Knox Beran, The Last Patrician
Origin of venial
Venial comes from Latin venia, "grace, indulgence, favor." It is not to be confused with venal, which means "capable of being bought; salable; open to bribery," and comes from Latin venum "sale." Remember that venial, like sin, has an i in it.