ve·​nial | \ ˈvē-nē-əl How to pronounce venial (audio) , -nyəl\

Definition of venial

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

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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.

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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

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Time Traveler for venial

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

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More Definitions for venial



English Language Learners Definition of venial

: not serious

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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

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