venial

adjective
ve·​nial | \ˈvē-nē-əl, -nyəl\

Definition of venial 

: of a kind that can be remitted : forgivable, pardonable also : meriting no particular censure or notice : excusable venial faults

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from venial

venially adverb
venialness noun

Examples of venial in a Sentence

taking the restaurant's menu as a souvenir seems like a venial offense

Recent Examples on the Web

How much damage must populism do before conservatives treat the worst excesses of its flagship as warranting as much attention as the most venial mainstream media sins? Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, "Can Conservative Journalism Survive?," 19 Sep. 2017 That said, your sin was venial at best, whereas your aunt’s behavior is churlish and wildly out of proportion. Mallory Ortberg, Slate Magazine, "Prudie counsels a woman whose husband once refused to talk dirty but now won’t shut up.," 16 May 2017 Sins have been admitted to, or just disclosed, both venial and mortal, but this admission, because involuntary, is without contrition. Joshua Cohen, WIRED, "The Great Tech Panic: What If All Your Secrets Became Public Information?," 25 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'venial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of venial

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for venial

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Late Latin veniālis, from Latin venia "favor, kindness, indulgence, pardon" (derivative of a verbal base *wen- "desire," whence also vener-, venus "sexual desire") + -ālis -al entry 1 — more at venus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about venial

Statistics for venial

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for venial

The first known use of venial was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for venial

venial

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of venial

: not serious

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on venial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with venial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for venial

Spanish Central: Translation of venial

Nglish: Translation of venial for Spanish Speakers

Comments on venial

What made you want to look up venial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to enclose within walls

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!