Consider the sentences below:
Can you figure out what each of these sentences mean? And what the words venal and venial mean? If you don’t, then you have landed on just the right page. This article will discuss everything about venal and venial starting with their origins to meanings and examples.
The word venal originated in mid-17th century (in the sense ‘available for purchase’, referring to merchandise or a favour): from Latin venalis, from venum ‘thing for sale’. Venial originated from Middle English: via Old French from late Latin venialis, from venia ‘forgiveness’.
Venal as adjective:
Venal is used as an adjective in English language where it describes a word which means showing or motivated by susceptibility to bribery; corrupt. It has synonyms like corrupt, corruptible, bribable, open to bribery, purchasable.
Venial as adjective:
Venial is used as an adjective which means denoting a sin that is not regarded as depriving the soul of divine grace. It has synonyms like pardonable, forgivable, excusable, condonable, tolerable, permissible, allowable or understandable etc.
To inflate this bully-boy rant to the level of “racial discrimination” undermines genuine instances of racially motivated hatred and gives a venal, opportunistic appearance to Tymon’s court action. (The Irish Times)
For example, when I was an Evangelical one of the periodic arguments I ran across against Catholic moral theology was that the concept of mortal and venial sin is unbiblical. (The National Catholic Register)
Venal or venial:
Venal means capable of being bribed, easily corrupted. Venal is an adjective, related words are the adverb venally and the noun venality. Venal comes into the English language in the mid-seventeenth century from the Old French word venel meaning for sale, in relating to prostitutes, and from the Latin venalis meaning for sale, susceptible to being bribed. Venial refers to a transgression that is easily forgiven. In Christian theology, venial describes a sin which is not grave enough to keep the sinner from obtaining divine grace. Venial is an adjective, related words are the adverb venially and the noun veniality. Venial enters the English language around 1300, from the Old French word venial meaning excusable, and the Latin venia meaning forgiveness, pardon.