Word of The Day for Tuesday, December 28, 2010


ve•ni•al (VEE-nee-uhl, VEEN-yuhl)  adj

able to be forgiven or pardoned; not seriously wrong; excusable; trifling; minor

veniality, venialness noun; venially adverb

c.1300, from O.Fr. venial, from L. venialis "pardonable," from venia "forgiveness, indulgence, pardon," related to venus "sexual love, desire"

Synonyms: pardonable, defensible, excusable, forgivable, justifiable, minor, tolerable

Sentence Examples:
• He was brought up with Spartan severity by his father and his aunt. The most venial self-indulgence was regarded as criminal. -The Reign of Henry the Eighth, James Anthony Froude

• It was once thought a venial offence, in very many countries of Europe, to destroy an enemy by slow poison. Persons who would have revolted at the idea of stabbing a man to the heart, drugged his pottage without scruple. Ladies of gentle birth and manners caught the contagion of murder, until poisoning, under their auspices, became quite fashionable. -Memoirs Of Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay

• To an Englishman, it is hoped it may be a source of venial self-congratulation, that the first publication upon Norman architecture originates in his own island: he will likewise probably not be displeased to find, that this collection of the finest remaining specimens of Norman art upon the continent, contains nothing which he cannot rival, indeed surpass, at home. -Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, John Sell Cotman

The Storyline
Her venial interruption was soon forgiven and the staff returned to their phones.

Sources: Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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