[ vee-nee-uhl, veen-yuhl ]
/ ˈvi ni əl, ˈvin yəl /


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

1250–1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin veniālis, equivalent to Latin veni(a) grace, favor, indulgence (akin to venus; see venerate, Venus) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
Can be confusedvenal venial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for venial

British Dictionary definitions for venial


/ (ˈviːnɪəl) /


easily excused or forgivena venial error
Derived Formsveniality (ˌviːnɪ'ælɪtɪ), nounvenially, adverb

Word Origin for venial

C13: via Old French from Late Latin veniālis, from Latin venia forgiveness; related to Latin venus love
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper