Definition of venal
venalityplay \vi-ˈna-lə-tē\ noun
venallyplay \ˈvē-nəl-ē\ adverb
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Examples of venal in a Sentence
that judge is known for being venal and easily bought
Recent Examples of venal from the Web
But Peña Nieto has fared poorly as president, weakened by scandals, disappointing growth and the perception that Mexico’s ruling class is irredeemably venal and out of touch.
Venal politicians continue sucking the blood of the Republic.
Thanks mainly to TV newscasters wearing their patriotism on their sleeves, the public no longer perceives the press as venal, unethical and dishonest.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'venal'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
If you are given the choice between acts that are "venal" and those that are "venial," go for the venial. Although the two words look and sound alike, they have very different meanings and histories. "Venal" demonstrates the adage that anything can be had if the price is high enough and the morals are low enough. That word originated with the Latin venum, which simply referred to something that was sold or for sale. Some of those transactions must have been rather shady, because by the mid-1600s, "venal" had gained the sense of corruption it carries today. "Venial" sins, on the other hand, are pardonable, the kind that show that everyone makes mistakes sometimes. That forgiving term descends from "venia," Latin for favor, "indulgence," or "pardon."
Origin and Etymology of venal
borrowed from Latin vēnālis “that may be bought, for sale,” from *vēnus “sale” (attested only in accusative vēnum and dative vēnō, vēnuī; akin to Greek ônos “price,” Sanskrit vasna- “price, value”) + -ālis 1-al
First Known Use: 1652
VENAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of venal for English Language Learners
: willing to do dishonest things in return for money
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