Definitions for: Venal

[adj] capable of being corrupted; "corruptible judges"; "dishonest politicians"; "a purchasable senator"; "a venal police officer"

Webster (1913) Definition: Ve"nal, a. [L. vena a vein.]
Of or pertaining to veins; venous; as, venal blood. [R.]

Ve"nal, a. [L. venalis, from venus sale; akin to Gr. ?
price, Skr. vasna: cf. F. v['e]nal.]
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; as,
venal services. `` Paid court to venal beauties.''

The venal cry and prepared vote of a passive senate.

Syn: Mercenary; hireling; vendible.

Usage: Venal, Mercenary. One is mercenary who is either
actually a hireling (as, mercenary soldiers, a
mercenary judge, etc.), or is governed by a sordid
love of gain; hence, we speak of mercenary motives, a
mercenary marriage, etc. Venal goes further, and
supposes either an actual purchase, or a readiness to
be purchased, which places a person or thing wholly in
the power of the purchaser; as, a venal press. Brissot
played ingeniously on the latter word in his
celebrated saying, `` My pen is venal that it may not
be mercenary,'' meaning that he wrote books, and sold
them to the publishers, in order to avoid the
necessity of being the hireling of any political

Thus needy wits a vile revenue made, And verse
became a mercenary trade. --Dryden.

This verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse
This, from no venal or ungrateful muse. --Pope.

Synonyms: bribable, corrupt, corruptible, dishonest, purchasable

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