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

Around the corner from the temple, Mug Shots Coffee House offers potent espresso drinks and warming panini and pastries in a cheerfully venerable brick building. Peter Fish, San Francisco Chronicle, "Road trip along Sierra Nevada’s Feather River," 16 Mar. 2018 Potential buyers have looked at the venerable building with an eye toward creating a recording studio, a winery tasting room or a rehab center, listing agent Emilia Ramirez said. Lauren Beale,, "Vintage Ventura: Victorian-Gothic church seeks a new owner for its next reincarnation," 9 Feb. 2018 In November, the two venerable companies bowed a line of silver-colored, wheeled carry-on bags in two accent-color offerings. Kavita Daswani,, "Kim Kardashian pop-up comes to Century City; Fendi, Rimowa team on new round of stylish luggage," 22 June 2018 With his love of nature and hermetic life, Hagerman belongs to a venerable American tradition that goes back to Henry David Thoreau, who was also a media-phobe and complained about the news. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "The Delusions of Trump-Era Escapism," 19 Mar. 2018 For those lucky enough to see her, the woman in the Victorian-era frock materializes at the same spot in the venerable sandstone building — the far, dark end of a long hallway. Maria L. La Ganga, idahostatesman, "What’s behind ’60s-era paneling at El Korah Shrine? A ballroom’s worth of ’20s art.," 12 July 2018 And on Monday, the venerable Herbert Blomstedt is joined by young conductors in a program of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. New York Times, "6 Classical Music Concerts to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 Found at restaurants owned by venerable chefs like Thomas Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Dominique Crenn, and Daniel Humm, Australian black truffles are harvested from June to August, providing fresh tubers when Europe isn’t able to. Christina Liao, Vogue, "Why You Should Be Going to Australia for Fresh Black Truffles," 12 July 2018 The venerable resort is owned by the state’s Republican governor, presidential ally Jim Justice. Jill Colvin, The Seattle Times, "Trump praises service members during charity dinner in W.Va.," 3 July 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

23 Sep 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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