ven·​er·​a·​ble | \ˈve-nər(-ə)-bəl, ˈven-rə-bəl\

Definition of venerable 

1a : calling forth respect through age, character, and attainments a venerable jazz musician broadly : conveying an impression of aged goodness and benevolence encouraged by the venerable doctor's head-nodding

b : impressive by reason of age under venerable pines

2 : deserving to be venerated used as a title for an Anglican archdeacon or for a Roman Catholic who has been accorded the lowest of three degrees of recognition for sanctity

3 : made sacred especially by religious or historical association

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Other Words from venerable

venerability \ˌve-​nə-​rə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē, ˌven-​rə-​ \ noun
venerableness \ˈve-​nər(-​ə)-​bəl-​nəs, ˈven-​rə-​ \ noun
venerably \ˈve-​nər(-​ə)-​blē, ˈven-​rə-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for venerable


age-old, aged, ancient, antediluvian, antique, dateless, hoar, hoary, immemorial, old


modern, new, recent

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Choose the Right Synonym for venerable

old, ancient, venerable, antique, antiquated, archaic, obsolete mean having come into existence or use in the more or less distant past. old may apply to either actual or merely relative length of existence. old houses an old sweater of mine ancient applies to occurrence, existence, or use in or survival from the distant past. ancient accounts of dragons venerable stresses the impressiveness and dignity of great age. the family's venerable patriarch antique applies to what has come down from a former or ancient time. collected antique Chippendale furniture antiquated implies being discredited or outmoded or otherwise inappropriate to the present time. antiquated teaching methods archaic implies having the character or characteristics of a much earlier time. the play used archaic language to convey a sense of period obsolete may apply to something regarded as no longer acceptable or useful even though it is still in existence. a computer that makes earlier models obsolete

Examples of venerable in a Sentence

[Julie] Powell never met Julia Child (who died last year), but the venerable chef's spirit is present throughout, and Powell imaginatively reconstructs episodes from Child's life in the 1940s. Her writing is feisty and unrestrained, especially as she details killing lobsters, tackling marrowbones and cooking late into the night. Publishers Weekly, 13 June 2005 Under her stewardship, the onetime boardinghouse came to be heralded as the South's most venerable family restaurant, a reliquary of old-fashioned cooking—collard greens enriched with fatback, creamed corn straight from the cob, fried chicken with a pepper-flecked crust—where the tables groaned beneath the weight of a quintessential midday repast, and history stood still on the plate for all to admire. — John T. Edge, Gourmet, January 2003 The lower the P/E, as a rough rule of thumb, the cheaper the stock. Though this guide to value has lots of exceptions, it remains a venerable market benchmark. — Jonathan Weil, Wall Street Journal, 21 Aug. 2001 I then descended to the Courts of justice, over which the judges, those venerable sages and interpreters of the law, presided, for determining the disputed rights and properties of men, as well as for the punishment of vice, and protection of innocence. — Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, 1726 the venerable old man was a cherished source of advice and wisdom for the villagers a venerable tradition that colleges have been maintaining for centuries
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Recent Examples on the Web

Nikon has been awake to this trend, which has prompted the venerable Japanese company to jump in the fray with its own full-frame mirrorless camera set to be announced on August 23rd. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Nikon’s teasing its full-frame mirrorless camera with a series of cool videos," 4 Aug. 2018 Small wonder, then, that many of the biggest and most venerable beauty companies — Guerlain, Greece's Apivita, and, of course, Burt's Bee — have built their philosophies around the tiny pollinator. Cristina Mueller, Town & Country, "Beauty and the Bees," 6 Dec. 2012 This red blend that uniquely speaks to a sense of place is made with grapes from the venerable Harrison Hill Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. Andy Perdue, The Seattle Times, "DeLille Cellars’ 2015 Harrison Hill is Andy Perdue’s Wine of the Year," 26 Oct. 2018 Barbra Streisand, America's funny girl, infamous dog mom, chronicler of broken hearts and memories, has turned her venerable craft to her least favorite American president: Donald Trump. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Barbra Streisand's New Song is About Donald Trump, And He's Not Going to Like It," 27 Sep. 2018 Meghan Markle, according to some, is the latest addition to that venerable list. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "People Think Meghan Markle Is Speaking with a British Accent," 26 Sep. 2018 Hori, the venerable Japanese third-party controller maker, is trying to fix that. Sam Byford, The Verge, "This controller fixes a big Nintendo Switch problem but makes another even worse," 3 Aug. 2018 All but the obscured-view seats for her June 26 show in New York's venerable Carnegie Hall sold out in 24 hours from Friday to Saturday morning, according to MarketWatch. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Kathy Griffin 'shocked' that comeback show at Carnegie Hall sold out in one day | The Kansas City Star," 19 Mar. 2018 The venerable luxury-goods house first started business near this location 160-some years ago, selling leather luggage to local aristocrats, and reopened in 2017. Brad Dunning, GQ, "These Are the 8 Architectural Wonders Of the Fashion World," 28 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'venerable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of venerable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for venerable

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin venerābilis "entitled to respect," from venerārī "to solicit the good will of (a deity), hold in awe, venerate" + -bilis "capable of (acting or being acted upon) — more at -able

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Dictionary Entries near venerable

veneer moth







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Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for venerable

The first known use of venerable was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for venerable



English Language Learners Definition of venerable

: old and respected : valued and respected because of old age, long use, etc.


ven·​er·​a·​ble | \ˈve-nə-rə-bəl \

Kids Definition of venerable

1 : deserving to be venerated

Hint: Venerable is often used as a religious title.

2 : deserving honor or respect

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Comments on venerable

What made you want to look up venerable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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