ven·​er·​ate | \ ˈve-nə-ˌrāt How to pronounce venerate (audio) \
venerated; venerating

Definition of venerate

transitive verb

1 : to regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference
2 : to honor (an icon, a relic, etc.) with a ritual act of devotion

Other Words from venerate

venerator \ ˈve-​nə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce venerate (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for venerate

revere, reverence, venerate, worship, adore mean to honor and admire profoundly and respectfully. revere stresses deference and tenderness of feeling. a professor revered by her students reverence presupposes an intrinsic merit and inviolability in the one honored and a similar depth of feeling in the one honoring. reverenced the academy's code of honor venerate implies a holding as holy or sacrosanct because of character, association, or age. heroes still venerated worship implies homage usually expressed in words or ceremony. worships their memory adore implies love and stresses the notion of an individual and personal attachment. we adored our doctor

Did you know?

Venerate comes from the Latin root venerārī, which has the various meanings of "to solicit the good will of," "to worship," "to pay homage to," and "to hold in awe."  That root is related to Venus, which, as a proper noun, is the name of the Roman goddess of love and beauty.

Examples of venerate in a Sentence

a writer venerated by generations of admirers She is venerated as a saint.
Recent Examples on the Web John Adams knew which day Americans would venerate. Jack N. Rakove, WSJ, 1 July 2022 Zakrajsek’s patriotic stance is commonplace in nations that venerate the military. Washington Post, 19 Apr. 2022 The easiest way to venerate ancestors is simple: put a photo of the deceased beside a glass of water and a white candle, and talk to them or recite their favourite prayers. Yvette Montoya,, 1 Nov. 2021 Smith also proved to be deeply controversial among conservative legal scholars who typically venerate Scalia. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 17 June 2021 Holding the remains violates the constitutional right to freedom of religion, because the Okinawans don’t have the opportunity to venerate their ancestors, says Yasukatsu Matsushima, an economist at Ryukoku University who is one of the plaintiffs. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, 14 June 2021 That’s because Europeans venerate the freedom to risk one’s own life but not the freedom to endanger others. Daniel Duane, Outside Online, 18 May 2021 If the mob’s bewilderment over the great building before them is one dominant feature of the day — whether to trash it or venerate it — its bewilderment over the police is even greater. Alec Macgillis, ProPublica, 17 Jan. 2021 Like any good advertisement, the most sizzling sequences venerate his latest products. New York Times, 27 Dec. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of venerate

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for venerate

borrowed from Latin venerātus, past participle of Latin venerārī "to solicit the good will of (a deity), worship, pay homage to, hold in awe," verbal derivative of vener-, venus "sexual desire, qualities exciting desire, charm, (as proper noun) goddess personifying sexual attractiveness" (probably originally in cognate accusative phrase Venerem venerārī "to propitiate Venus," extended to other deities) — more at venus

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The first known use of venerate was circa 1623

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Last Updated

26 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Venerate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for venerate


ven·​er·​ate | \ ˈve-nə-ˌrāt How to pronounce venerate (audio) \
venerated; venerating

Kids Definition of venerate

1 : to consider holy
2 : to show deep respect for

More from Merriam-Webster on venerate

Nglish: Translation of venerate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of venerate for Arabic Speakers


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