venial sin


: a sin that is relatively slight or that is committed without full reflection or consent and so according to Thomist theology does not deprive the soul of sanctifying grace compare mortal sin
: a minor offense

Examples of venial sin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the corrupt world of college football, sign stealing is a venial sin. Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jan. 2024 Now it’s considered a venial sin at worst. Paul Sullivan,, 19 May 2021 My reservations have little to do with standard criticisms like awkward performances or clunky production values — venial sins, surely, for new filmmakers trying to find their way. Justin Chang,, 30 Mar. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'venial sin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near venial sin

Cite this Entry

“Venial sin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

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