ven·​er·​a·​ble | \ ˈve-nər(-ə)-bəl How to pronounce venerable (audio) , 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

Other Words from venerable

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

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 BCycle is owned by Trek, the venerable Wisconsin bicycle company founded in 1975. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Nov. 2021 The Bories are also the previous proprietors of Bordeaux’s Château Haut-Batailley, and Borie’s brother, François-Xavier, owns and runs Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, which has a lesser ranking than Ducru but is respected and venerable. Ted Loos, Robb Report, 12 Dec. 2021 The James Webb Space Telescope is the successor to the venerable Hubble Space Telescope, which is still exploring the universe after numerous servicing missions and more than three decades in low-earth orbit. Caitlin Mcfall, Fox News, 26 Dec. 2021 The withdrawal is the latest twist in the artist’s contentious history with the venerable institution — though Drake probably wouldn’t characterize the Recording Academy that way. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 6 Dec. 2021 In the new show, the venerable law firm of McKenzie Brackman reinvents itself as a litigation firm specializing in only the most high profile, boundary pushing and incendiary cases. Joe Otterson, Variety, 5 Oct. 2021 The impact of the pandemic, which closed hundreds of historic sites to visitors and led to more than a thousand job losses at the Trust, magnified the sense of a venerable institution losing its way. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 16 Aug. 2021 The longtime radio promo vet -- who has spent the past 18 years at the venerable hip-hop institution, most recently as executive vp of promotion -- replaces Rich Isaacson in the role, who announced his exit last week. Dan Rys, Billboard, 3 June 2021 This venerable institution is entertaining even the tiniest children with free online projects — all accessible from its website — that range from writing lullabies to discovering the orchestra. New York Times, 20 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for venerable

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

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Venerable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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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 How to pronounce venerable (audio) \

Kids Definition of venerable

1 : deserving to be venerated
Hint: Venerable is often used as a religious title.
2 : deserving honor or respect

More from Merriam-Webster on venerable

Nglish: Translation of venerable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of venerable for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about venerable


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