American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Easily excused or forgiven; pardonable: a venial offense.
- adj. Roman Catholic Church Minor, therefore warranting only temporal punishment.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- That may be forgiven; pardonable; not very sinful or wrong: as, a venial sin or transgression. See sin, 1.
- Excusable; that may be allowed or permitted to pass without severe censure.
- Permissible; harmless; unobjectionable.
- 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. A venial sin or offense.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Capable of being forgiven; not heinous; excusable; pardonable.
- adj. obsolete Allowed; permitted.
- adj. warranting only temporal punishment
- adj. easily excused or forgiven
- From Old French venial, from Late Latin veniālis ("pardonable"), from Latin venia ("forgiveness") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin veniālis, from Latin venia, forgiveness; see wen-1 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
““Those sins are called venial sins,” Mary Catherine continues.”
“Rome teaches, that is, purificatory and punitive), but probatory, not restricted to those dying in "venial sin"; the supposed intermediate class between those entering heaven at once, and those dying in mortal sin who go to hell, but universal, testing the godly and ungodly alike”
“To his mind, the venial were the more numerous, but then, he had been a cynic for many years now.”
The Lark And The Wren
“Therefore gluttony is accounted among the lesser, that is to say venial, sins.”
“The difference can not be the same as betwixt sins that are called venial and mortal: for he says, that if a man pray for his brother, who commits a sin that is not to death, life shall be given him: therefore such a one had before lost the life of grace, and been guilty of what is commonly called a mortal sin.”
“It is called venial precisely because, considered in its own proper nature, it is pardonable; in itself meriting, not eternal, but temporal punishment.”
“That doctrine which asserts any sin to be in its nature venial, that is, such as God cannot in justice punish with damnation, tends to subvert a good life: but the doctrine of the church of Rome asserts this; and lays the foundation of this assertion in a distinction between works done against the law, and works done beside the law.”
“It is true that the greatest sins are in one sense venial, that is,”
“Lesser sins, called venial sins, are less deadly and are more easily eradicated.”
“And make no mistake (to borrow some Catholic theology), we're not talking about "venial" sins, but "mortal" sins, i.e., acts of Evil and pathology that trivialize business as usual political hypocrisy and greed.”
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