Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Commanding respect by virtue of age, dignity, character, or position.
  • adj. Worthy of reverence, especially by religious or historical association: venerable relics.
  • adj. Roman Catholic Church Used as a form of address for a person who has reached the first stage of canonization.
  • adj. Used as a form of address for an archdeacon in the Anglican Church or the Episcopal Church.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. commanding respect because of age, dignity, character or position
  • adj. worthy of reverence
  • adj. ancient, antiquated or archaic
  • adj. Used as a form of address for an archdeacon in the Anglican Church
  • adj. Used as a form of address in the Roman Catholic Church for someone in the first stages of sainthood
  • adj. Used as a form of address in the Eastern Orthodox Church for some saints
  • adj. made sacred especially by religious or historical association
  • adj. a : calling forth respect through age, character, and attainments; broadly : conveying an impression of aged goodness and benevolence b : impressive by reason of age

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Capable of being venerated; worthy of veneration or reverence; deserving of honor and respect; -- generally implying an advanced age.
  • adj. Rendered sacred by religious or other associations; that should be regarded with awe and treated with reverence.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Worthy of veneration or reverence; deserving honor and respect, particularly with a suggestion of age or dignity: as, a venerable magistrate; a venerable scholar. In the Anglican Church, specifically applied to archdeacons.
  • Hallowed by religious, historic, or other lofty associations; to be regarded with reverence: as, the venerable precincts of a temple.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. profoundly honored
  • adj. impressive by reason of age

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • The word venerable originates from the name Venus, the Roman goddess of love and sexuality.

    God is Not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu …

  • How I shall henceforth dwell on the blessed hours when, not long since, I saw that benignant face, the clear eyes, the silently smiling mouth, the form yet upright in its great age—to the very last, with so much spring and cheeriness, and such an absence of decrepitude, that even the term venerable hardly seem’d fitting.

    By Emerson’s Grave. Specimen Days

  • How I shall henceforth dwell on the blessed hours when, not long since, I saw that benignant face, the clear eyes, the silently smiling mouth, the form yet upright in its great age -- to the very last, with so much spring and cheeriness, and such an absence of decrepitude, that even the term venerable hardly seem'd fitting.

    Specimen Days; from Complete Poetry and Collected Prose

  • "arguments" the term venerable is used instead of mouldy, and hallowed instead of devilish; whereas there is nothing properly venerable or antique about a language which is not yet four hundred years old, and about a jumble of imbecile spellings which were grotesque in the beginning, and which grow more and more grotesque with the flight of the years.

    Chapters from My Autobiography

  • I didn't realize the word, venerable, is associated with age.

    A Special Day at the Wabi-Sabi House

  • And I might have used it as did a certain venerable skipper, who, when No. 3 was empty, mixed a dose from No. 1 and No. 2, or, when No. 7 was all gone, dosed his crew with 4 and 3 till 3 gave out, when he used

    Chapter 17

  • But hear me, my venerable sister --- start not at the word venerable; it implies many praiseworthy qualities besides age; though that too is honourable, albeit it is the last quality for which womankind would wish to be honoured --- But perpend my words: let Lovel and me have forthwith the relics of the chicken-pie, and the reversion of the port. ''

    The Antiquary

  • This pile was venerable from its antiquity, and from its Gothic structure; but more venerable from the virtues which it enclosed.

    The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne: A Highland Story

  • Emperor of the Romans, a name venerable from the fame of the old Empire, and which was supposed to carry great and unknown prerogatives; and thus the Empire rose again out of its ruins in the West, and, what is remarkable, by means of one of those nations which had helped to destroy it.

    The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. 07 (of 12)

  • • Despite damning allegations made against him, Pope Pius XII was declared "venerable" - a posthumous recognition of virtue - in September 2000, putting him one step closer to official sainthood.

    WN.com - Articles related to Boston Archdiocese welcomes 2 rectors as auxiliary bishops

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  • but it cut the very heart out of this venerable word

    September 29, 2010