Ve·​nus | \ ˈvē-nəs How to pronounce Venus (audio) \

Definition of Venus

1 : the Roman goddess of love and beauty — compare aphrodite
2 : the planet second in order from the sun — see Planets Table

First Known Use of Venus

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Venus

Latin Vener-, Venus, deified abstraction from an originally neuter common noun venus "sexual desire, qualities exciting desire, charm"; akin to Sanskrit vanate "(s/he) likes, takes pleasure in," -vana- "loving," vāñchati "(s/he) desires, wishes," Old English wȳscan "to wish," wunian "to remain, dwell," Old Norse una "to be satisfied"

Note: Latin venus, as probably also Vedic Sanskrit vanas-, a hapax legomenon of uncertain meaning, is an s-stem derivative from a verbal base going back to Indo-European *wenH- "wish, desire," most likely distinct from *wen- "struggle, gain"; see win entry 1.

Learn More About Venus

Time Traveler for Venus

Time Traveler

The first known use of Venus was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near Venus




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for Venus

Cite this Entry

“Venus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for Venus



English Language Learners Definition of Venus

: the planet that is second in order from the sun


Ve·​nus | \ ˈvē-nəs How to pronounce Venus (audio) \

Kids Definition of Venus

: the planet that is second in order of distance from the sun and has a diameter of about 7,500 miles (12,100 kilometers)

More from Merriam-Webster on Venus

Nglish: Translation of Venus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of Venus for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!