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

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Other Words from venerable

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

Elements of it were conducted in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, a venerable pillar of American learning. Ishaan Tharoor, Twin Cities, "Ishaan Tharoor: The 1619 Project and the fear of history," 22 Aug. 2019 Maxmin also notes that the material of the new statue, wood, has venerable ancient roots. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The new Melania Trump statue in Slovenia as interpreted by art experts," 21 July 2019 This venerable treat requires no reinvention to bring smiles to every face at the table, but that hasn’t stopped us from taking a fresh look at its quivering potential. Paul Stephen,, "Flantastic! Updating flan with global flavors," 4 Sep. 2019 Some are venerable right-wing reliables like National Review, The Washington Times, or Newsmax. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The Boundless Grift of Right-Wing Media Watchdogs," 4 Sep. 2019 McCoy, for his part, has proven venerable, making it to what will be his 11th season in the league. Albert Breer,, "Texans Sit at the Center of Two Seismic Trades on a Frenzied Saturday in the NFL," 2 Sep. 2019 Last Thursday, the venerable rock group the Rolling Stones performed a show at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Newt Gingrich's Moon Sweepstakes Are a Confounding Development in Today's Space Race," 29 Aug. 2019 According to a report from venerable French publication L'Equipe, the German champions had long seen Roca as an ideal player to plug any midfield gaps, and once the sale of Sanches was beyond doubt there was only one man to fill the space., "Report: Bayern Munich Agrees to Pay Release Clause for Espanyol Midfielder Marc Roca," 23 Aug. 2019 ThredUp, a San Francisco online thrift store founded more than a century after the venerable department store, will open mini-shops within 40 Macy’s around the country, including those in San Mateo and Walnut Creek. Shwanika Narayan,, "Used clothing in vogue as Macy’s, J.C. Penney partner with thredUp," 21 Aug. 2019

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

9 Sep 2019

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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

formal : 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

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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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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