from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Open to bribery; mercenary: a venal police officer.
- adj. Capable of betraying honor, duty, or scruples for a price; corruptible.
- adj. Marked by corrupt dealings, especially bribery: a venal administration.
- adj. Obtainable for a price.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. venous; pertaining to veins
- adj. For sale; available for purchase.
- adj. Of a position, privilege etc.: available for purchase rather than assigned on merit.
- adj. Capable of being bought (of a person); willing to take bribes.
- adj. Corrupt, mercenary.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Of or pertaining to veins; venous.
- adj. Capable of being bought or obtained for money or other valuable consideration; made matter of trade or barter; held for sale; salable; mercenary; purchasable; hireling.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Ready to sell one's services or influence for money or other valuable consideration, and entirely from sordid motives; bought or to be bought basely or meanly for personal gain; mercenary; hireling: used of persons: as, a venal politician.
- Characterized by or springing from venality; also, made a matter of sordid bargaining and selling: used of things.
- Synonyms Venal, Mercenary, Hireling. These words represent a person or thing as ready to be dishonorably employed for pay. Each is strongest in one sense. Venal is strongest in expressing the idea of complete sale to a purchaser—character, honor, principle, and even individuality being surrendered for value received, the venal man doing whatever his purchaser directs, a venal press advocating whatever it is told to advocate. Mercenary is strongest in expressing rapacity, or greed for gain, and activity. Hireling is strongest in expressing servility and consequent contempt, hire having become an ignoble word for pay: as, a hireling soldiery; a hireling defamer. A venal man sells his political or other support; mercenary man sells his work, being chiefly anxious to get as much pay as possible; a hireling will do mean or base work as long as he is sure of his pay. Venal means a being ready to sell one's principles, whether he makes out to sell them or not; mercenary and hireling suggest more of actual employment.
- Of or pertaining to the veins; venous: as, venal blood or circulation.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. capable of being corrupted
It's hard to tell whom the sheik loathes more — Al Qaeda or Sunni politicians like Hashemi, who he describes as venal quislings.
They don't mind being described as venal, misguided, dogmatic, having halitosis, or being in league with Satan, but calling them gullible idiots is an insult too far.
I may blow chunks now just recalling the venal swine.
Humanity has committed many of what Mahatma Ghandi referred to as the venal sins -- to have wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, science without humanity, knowledge without character, trade without morality, prayer without sacrifice and politics without principles.
I should be a liar if I said that many public-houses are highly moral and useful institutions; but the abuses are due to the rank faults of human nature, and not to the class of traders who are alternately described as venal sycophants or robbers.
"A baker is not to be called venal if he sells his loaves, he is venal if he sells himself; Dryden only sold his loaves."
t mind being described as venal, misguided, or being in league with Satan, but calling them gullible idiots is an insult too far
One Democratic lawmaker has said that it has made Arizona a "laughingstock" but it's difficult to find an ounce of humor in this kind of venal legislation.
I love the sound of the word "venal" and I believe that is actually descriptive of a portion of our Vice President.
I agree that the mere disagreement about the scope of the AUMF or Article II was in no respect as "venal" or as "corrupt" as the entire Watergate affair.