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See also: vénal



Etymology 1[edit]

From the Latin vēna ‎(vein).


venal ‎(comparative more venal, superlative most venal)

  1. venous; pertaining to veins

Etymology 2[edit]

From French vénal, from Old French venel, from Latin vēnālis ‎(for sale), from vēnum ‎(something for sale); compare vend.


venal ‎(comparative more venal, superlative most venal)

  1. (archaic) For sale; available for purchase.
  2. Of a position, privilege etc.: available for purchase rather than assigned on merit.
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, p. 140:
      Thus, regimental commands in the army were – as with the judiciary or the financial bureaucracy – venal posts, which were purchased, bequeathed and sold among the nobility.
  3. Capable of being bought (of a person); willing to take bribes.
  4. (of behaviour etc.) Corrupt, mercenary.
    • 1785, The Times, 9 Feb 1785, page 1, column C:
      Though there is a disposition in mankind, to declaim against the corruption and peculation of the present times, as being more venal than formerly; yet, if we look back to different periods, we shall find statesmen and politicians, as selfish and corrupt, (...) as those who have lately figured on the political stage.
Related terms[edit]