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
The venal glee Lithgow takes from his character belittling Beatriz.
This clever hack exploits our most primal needs for affirmation, generally from the most venal of motivations.
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.
But amid even the worst federal scandals, Watergate included, the country has never been nationally profiled as crooked—a venal society from coast to coast, from dogcatcher to commander-in-chief.
America is, at its core, a nasty, venal, selfish and racist culture.
Donald Trump’s firing of James Comey has to be the most thuggish, venal act committed by a U.S. president since Richard Nixon’s desperate Saturday Night Massacre.
At the other end of the moral spectrum is Morton, treading the line between compromised, guilty mother and venal fortune hunter.
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
VENAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of venal for English Language Learners
: willing to do dishonest things in return for money
Seen and Heard
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