American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Roman Catholic Church An offense that is judged to be minor or committed without deliberate intent and thus does not estrange the soul from the grace of God.
- n. Roman Catholic theology A sin that is not a mortal sin; a sin that is not grave, or was not deliberate or was committed without a full understanding of the consequences.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. (R. C. Theol.) a sin which weakens, but does not wholly destroy, sanctifying grace, as do mortal, or deadly, sins.
- n. a pardonable sin regarded as entailing only a partial loss of grace
“I hold that these effects usually result from the first cause I mentioned; such souls know that nothing would induce them to commit a sin (many of them would not even commit a venial sin advertently), and that they employ their life and riches well.”
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