• WordNet 3.6
    • adj venal capable of being corrupted "corruptible judges","dishonest politicians","a purchasable senator","a venal police officer"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Venal 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.""Thus needy wits a vile revenue made,
      And verse became a mercenary trade."
      "This verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse
      This, from no venal or ungrateful muse."
    • a Venal Of or pertaining to veins; venous; as, venal blood.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • venal 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.
    • venal Characterized by or springing from venality; also, made a matter of sordid bargaining and selling: used of things.
    • venal 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.
    • venal Of or pertaining to the veins; venous: as, venal blood or circulation.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Venal vē′nal that may be sold or got for a price: held for sale: mercenary
    • adj Venal vē′nal pertaining to a vein or veins: contained in the veins.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. venalis, from venus, sale; akin to Gr. 'w^nos price, Skr. vasna,: cf. F. vénal,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. vena, a vein.


In literature:

With a venal expression of delight, the gunner regarded the contents of the bag, feeling the gems one by one.
"The Strollers" by Frederic S. Isham
This man was the Tweed of Mexico, and one of the most venal officials ever trusted by the people.
"Aztec Land" by Maturin M. Ballou
The cowardly venal Press must be swept away.
"Dreamers of the Ghetto" by I. Zangwill
But for the moment the French were heavily burdened by the venality of La Barre, who subordinated public policy to his own gains.
"The Fighting Governor" by Charles W. Colby
And the venal doctor will 12.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 7 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Their literature is principally the work of venal Scots.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Both these men were also boundlessly venal.
"The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte" by William Milligan Sloane
It stares corruption in the face, and the venal tribe are all alarmed.
"The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete" by Thomas Paine
This venal slave lost his head when the Caesar saw me.
"A Christian But a Roman" by Mór Jókai
He despised them as venal: and he had resolved to use them for his own advantage.
"Rulers of India: Lord Clive" by George Bruce Malleson

In poetry:

They tell me, too, that all is venal, vain,
With high and low;
That truth and honor are the slaves of gain;
Can it be so?
"A Christmas Chant" by Abram Joseph Ryan
This water free for rich, or poor,
Works eleemosynary cure.
Too long have venal fountains flow'd
From Bath, from Bristol, Holt and Road.
"Superstition: A Tale" by Samuel Bowden
How felt the greed of gold and place,
The venal crew that schemed and planned,
The fine scorn of that haughty face,
The spurning of that bribeless hand!
"Sumner" by John Greenleaf Whittier
O Balaam! Balaam! ope thine eyes, and see
The angel just descended from above!
Return, return, nor touch the venal fee,
But hear the ass, thy avarice reprove.
"Stanza's Concerning Some Persons And Things, That Are Mentioned In The Holy Scriptures" by Rees Prichard
"I spoke, nor Fate forbore his trembling spoil;
Some venal mourner lent his careless aid,
And soon they bore me to my native soil,
Where my fond parents' dear remains were laid.
"Elegy XXII. Written in the Year ----, When the Rights of Sepulture Were So Frequently Violated" by William Shenstone
"Damon," she cried, "if, pleased with honest praise,
Thou court success by virtue or by song,
Fly the false dictates of the venal race;
Fly the gross accents of the venal tongue.
"Elegy XIX. - Written in Spring, 1743" by William Shenstone

In news:

Like most sports-team owners, NBA owners are venal hyenas who resort to ethical arguments only if they can increase profits.
Whiplash injury, in some circles, is nearly synonymous with fraud or malingering: the claimants looked upon as priggish and their doctors as venal.
'The Borgias,' one of two projects being shopped on the venal family, may wind up outselling 'The Tudors.'.
'Taxing Woman's Return' in a Venal Tokyo.
Tom Stoppard's absurdist farce /murder mystery takes scattershot aim at venal critics and the silly plays they endure.
Tom Stoppard's absurdist farce/murder mystery takes scattershot aim at venal critics and the silly plays they endure.
In the short term, of course, it hurts the manufacturers who sunk a lot of R&D money and raw materials into designing and building long putters for terminal yips sufferers, head cases and venal young Tour players bereft of consciences.
All you have to do is channel surf for five minutes any day of the week to nail the medium for its unabashed stupidity and venality.