[ 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 confused

venal venial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for veniality


/ (ˈviːnɪəl) /


easily excused or forgivena venial error

Derived Forms

veniality (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