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venial


If it was a sin, it was venial.
  easily excused or forgiven
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venial veniality
Strongly Associated with:   venal
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Samples:
  • If it was a sin, it was venial.
  • a venial error
  • That’s why they have different sins, the sacrilege, the mortal sin, the venial sin.
    Frank McCourt  --  Angela’s Ashes
  • Venial sins are lighter, like a rash instead of measles.
    Julia Alvarez  --  In the Time of the Butterflies

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  • A venial, or a mortal, sin?
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • Father Byrnes went on to discuss the difference between mortal and venial sins.
    Rudolfo Anaya  --  Bless Me, Ultima
  • So they do nothing, ’tis a venial slip: But if I give my wife a handkerchief,— OTHELLO.
    William Shakespeare  --  Othello, the Moor of Venice
  • There may be some fault even in this obedience; but the fault thus committed is venial; it is a fall, but a fall on the knees which may terminate in prayer.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • While he spoke, however, the young soldier seized his rifle, and advancing toward the front, prepared to atone for his venial remissness, by freely exposing his life in defense of those he attended.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • Sometimes he had amused himself by putting difficult questions to me, asking me what one should do in certain circumstances or whether such and such sins were mortal or venial or only imperfections.
    James Joyce  --  Dubliners

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  • Can you get him to imitate this defect in his mistress and to exaggerate it until what was venial in her becomes in him the strongest and most beautiful of the vices—Spiritual Pride?
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Screwtape Letters
  • Yet it appeared to me that we were all, at Bly, sufficiently sacrificed to make that venial.
    Henry James  --  The Turn of the Screw
  • Careless fellow as I am, I am not so indifferent, Mrs. Bounderby, as to be regardless of this vice in your brother, or inclined to consider it a venial offence.’
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • It was suffered to fade out of sight or be reckoned a venial matter, in the Honorable Judge Pyncheon’s long subsequent survey of his own life.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • This is a lover’s most stoical virtue, as the lack of it is a lover’s most venial sin.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • The natural vigour in the venial sin Is the way in which our lives begin.
    T.S. Eliot  --  Murder in the Cathedral
  • Even from this venial act of vulgarity, however, Ralph was saved, and saved by a force that I can only speak of as inspiration.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volumes 1 & 2
  • That was another mystery: it sometimes seemed to him that venial sins - impatience, an unimportant lie, pride, a neglected opportunity - cut you off from grace more completely than the worst sins of all.
    Graham Greene  --  The Power and the Glory
  • There she stood still, around her stretching the vast night atmosphere, whose incomplete darkness in comparison with the total darkness of the heath below it might have represented a venial beside a mortal sin.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Return of the Native
  • They reason thus because they are unable to comprehend that even venial sin is of such a foul and hideous nature that even if the omnipotent Creator could end all the evil and misery in the world, the wars, the diseases, the robberies, the crimes, the deaths, the murders, on condition that he allowed a single venial sin to pass unpunished, a single venial sin, a lie, an angry look, a moment of wilful sloth, He, the great omnipotent God could not do so because sin, be it in thought or…
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • On the other hand, the predetermined adversary has no venial motive whatever.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers — Modern English Edition 2
  • The predetermined adversary, on the other hand, can have been governed by no venial motive whatever.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers
  • This, it must be confessed, was a slightly malicious stroke; the reader must judge in what degree the offense was venial.
    Henry James  --  The American
  • Even from this venial act of vulgarity, however, Ralph was saved, and saved by a force that I can only speak of as inspiration.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1
  • Nevertheless, there may well have been periods of history when purgatory could not be hoped for; periods when it was impossible to speak of venial sin.
    Albert Camus  --  The Plague
  • "Surely, sir," cried the impatient Elizabeth, "those laws that condemn a man like the Leather-Stocking to so severe a punishment, for an offence that even I must think very venial, cannot be perfect in themselves."
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pioneers
  • Sent psychologists out to these people’s houses, gave them a free TV set to submit to an anonymous interview, hooked them to polygraphs, studied their brain waves as they showed them choppy, inexplicable movies of porn queens and late-night car crashes and Sammy Davis, Jr., put them in sweet-smelling, mauve-walled rooms and asked them questions about Ethics so perplexing that even a Jesuit couldn’t respond without committing a venial sin.
    Neal Stephenson  --  Snow Crash
  • Sin is either venial, or deadly; deadly, when a man loves any creature more than Jesus Christ our Creator, venial, if he love Jesus Christ less than he ought.
    Geoffrey Chaucer  --  The Canterbury Tales
  • Book IX No more of talk where God or Angel guest With Man, as with his friend, familiar us’d, To sit indulgent, and with him partake Rural repast; permitting him the while Venial discourse unblam’d.
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • And the Venial Sins.
    David Baldacci  --  Wish You Well
  • "It’s wicked to love any man as well as I love my father, and so I strive not to do it, Hist," returned the conscientious Hetty, who knew not how to conceal an emotion, by an approach to an untruth as venial as an evasion, though powerfully tempted by female shame to err, "though I sometimes think wickedness will get the better of me, if Hurry comes so often to the lake.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
  • I told her that if I was going to commit a Mortal sin, as lying to a religious can’t be Venial, the least Minerva could do was tell me what I was risking my immortal soul for.
    Julia Alvarez  --  In the Time of the Butterflies
  • "I wish I had!" said Isabel, simply, apparently forgetting for the moment that her poverty had been a venial fault for two gallant gentlemen.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volumes 1 & 2
  • Besides this confession in a loud tone, for which all faults in the least serious are reserved, they have for their venial offences what they call the coulpe.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • Let us remark in passing, that the burial of Mother Crucifixion under the altar of the convent is a perfectly venial offence in our sight.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • "I wish I had!" said Isabel, simply, apparently forgetting for the moment that her poverty had been a venial fault for two gallant gentlemen.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1
  • Venial sins were small sins, like saying bad words or not going to the Stations of the Cross during Lent.
    Rudolfo Anaya  --  Bless Me, Ultima
  • A venial sin, for you acted without evil intention.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • If you died with a venial sin on your soul you could not enter heaven until the sin was absolved by prayers or rosaries or masses from your family on earth.
    Rudolfo Anaya  --  Bless Me, Ultima
  • Sin is either venial, or deadly; deadly, when a man loves any creature more than Jesus Christ our Creator, venial, if he love Jesus Christ less than he ought.
    Geoffrey Chaucer  --  The Canterbury Tales
  • Venial sins diminish man’s love to God more and more, and may in this wise skip into deadly sin; for many small make a great.
    Geoffrey Chaucer  --  The Canterbury Tales
  • "If you die with a venial sin on your soul, where do you go?" he asked.
    Rudolfo Anaya  --  Bless Me, Ultima
  • There are three actions of penitence; that a man be baptized after he has sinned; that he do no deadly sin after receiving baptism; and that he fall into no venial sins from day to day.
    Geoffrey Chaucer  --  The Canterbury Tales
  • This holy orison aminisheth [lesseneth] eke venial sin, and therefore it appertaineth specially to penitence.
    Geoffrey Chaucer  --  The Canterbury Tales
  • But soothly, when that a man is not wont to strong drink, and peradventure knoweth not the strength of the drink, or hath feebleness in his head, or hath travailed [laboured], through which he drinketh the more, all [although] be he suddenly caught with drink, it is no deadly sin, but venial.
    Geoffrey Chaucer  --  The Canterbury Tales
  • Furthermore, men may also refrain and put away venial sin, by receiving worthily the precious body of Jesus Christ; by receiving eke of holy water; by alms-deed; by general confession of Confiteor at mass, and at prime, and at compline [evening service]; and by blessing of bishops and priests, and by other good works.
    Geoffrey Chaucer  --  The Canterbury Tales
  • …sin is of such a foul and hideous nature that even if the omnipotent Creator could end all the evil and misery in the world, the wars, the diseases, the robberies, the crimes, the deaths, the murders, on condition that he allowed a single venial sin to pass unpunished, a single venial sin, a lie, an angry look, a moment of wilful sloth, He, the great omnipotent God could not do so because sin, be it in thought or deed, is a transgression of His law and God would not be God if He did…
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • …hideous nature that even if the omnipotent Creator could end all the evil and misery in the world, the wars, the diseases, the robberies, the crimes, the deaths, the murders, on condition that he allowed a single venial sin to pass unpunished, a single venial sin, a lie, an angry look, a moment of wilful sloth, He, the great omnipotent God could not do so because sin, be it in thought or deed, is a transgression of His law and God would not be God if He did not punish the transgressor.
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Right so fareth it sometimes of deadly sin," and of venial sins when they multiply in a man so greatly as to make him love worldly things more than God.
    Geoffrey Chaucer  --  The Canterbury Tales
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Associated words [difficulty]:   venial [7] , venal [7]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Religion - Christianity, Classic Literature, Religion & Spirtuality
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