Definitions

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

  • n. The condition of being susceptible to bribery or corruption.
  • n. The use of a position of trust for dishonest gain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the fact or state of being for sale, especially with reference to bribes or corruption

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being venal, or purchasable; mercenariness; prostitution of talents, offices, or services, for money or reward

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state or character of being venal, or sordidly influenced by money or financial considerations; prostitution of talents, offices, or services for money or reward; mercenariness.

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

  • n. prostitution of talents or offices or services for reward

Etymologies

From French vénalité or Latin vēnālitās from vēnālis ‘venal’ from vēnum. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In that sense, economists as a group probably have even less credibility than politicians, as the assumption of venality is almost automatic for an economist, whereas it is suspected of pols but the latter sometimes get the benefit of doubt, specially when they are young and handsome.

    Difference in Deference, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • From this vantage point for the Democratic caucus to ostracize anyone connected to the Illinois Statehouse is the ultimate in venality and hubris.

    The Early Word: What’s Next in Illinois? - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com

  • One grieves for the good, decent and Honourable Members of Parliament - there are some - but far too many have been found out in venality.

    The Moving Finger Wrote

  • There was no such system of rotten boroughs, no such domination of a landed aristocracy, throughout the South as has been imagined, and venality, which is the disgrace of current politics, was practically unknown.

    The Creed of the Old South 1865-1915

  • I challenge Burston to cite a single instance of my having touched on the subject of the "venality" of Israel's leaders (i.e. that they can be bought with money) in any of the hundreds of columns I have written over the past forty years, although it is a subject that Israeli columnists have had a field day with.

    Henry Siegman: A Response to Bradley Burston's Critique

  • Sorry Mark, but the only other choice was "venality" which I had no evidence for.

    Gnashing My Teeth

  • It made sense to him, he grasped the kind of venality in play here.

    Mirage

  • My conclusion, then, is that he's unconcerned about "venality" not because he likes the idea of Parliament as a microcosm of the human condition in all its flawed majesty, but simply because he thinks it doesn't matter; and indeed he confirms this a little further on, which I'll address when we get to it.

    British Blogs

  • "venality," had quite as much to do on the part of those who wished to perpetuate the government of disloyalty, proscription, and persecution as on the part of those who desired to "render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's," and to place the Government of Massachusetts, like that of the other New England Colonies, upon the broad foundation of equal and general franchise and religious liberty.

    The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 1 of 2. From 1620-1816

  • The venality of the Afghan auxiliaries hired by the Americans as "beaters" to flush out bin Laden, his local contacts, the half-hearted nature of Pakistani efforts and a sense of Islamic solidarity among local people was enough to allow them to slip away to the south.

    Osama bin Laden obituary

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