from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. 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.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. a sin which weakens, but does not wholly destroy, sanctifying grace, as do mortal, or deadly, sins.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a pardonable sin regarded as entailing only a partial loss of grace
Sorry, no etymologies found.
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.