- able to be forgiven or pardoned; not seriously wrong, as a sin (opposed to mortal).
- excusable; trifling; minor: a venial error; a venial offense.
Origin of venial
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for venial
The SEC charging Goldman with securities fraud is like the Vatican charging a priest with venial sin.The Fallacy of 'Fraud'
Alan M. Dershowitz
April 17, 2010
Now that she was caught, she no longer thought of her offense as venial.Hooking Watermelons
Those who keep the fast "will be pardoned all their past venial sins."The Faith of Islam
Things must not be done in him which are venial in the week-day classes.The Way of All Flesh
Yet it appeared to me that we were all, at Bly, sufficiently sacrificed to make that venial.The Turn of the Screw
The Bibliotaph could not be convinced that his sin of autograph collecting was not venial.The Bibliotaph
Leon H. Vincent
- easily excused or forgivena venial error
Word Origin and History for venial
c.1300, from Old French venial, from Latin venialis "pardonable," from venia "forgiveness, indulgence, pardon," related to venus "sexual love, desire" (see Venus).