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venal

[veen-l] /ˈvin l/
adjective
1.
willing to sell one's influence, especially in return for a bribe; open to bribery; mercenary:
a venal judge.
2.
able to be purchased, as by a bribe:
venal acquittals.
3.
associated with or characterized by bribery:
a venal administration; venal agreements.
Origin
1645-1655
1645-55; < Latin vēnālis, equivalent to vēn(um) (accusative) for sale (cf. vend) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
venally, adverb
nonvenal, adjective
nonvenally, adverb
unvenal, adjective
Can be confused
venal, venial.
Synonyms
1. bribable, corruptible. See corrupt.
Antonyms
1. incorruptible.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for venal
  • Mayors were either the venal bosses of dishonest machines or figureheads for the bosses.
  • It's all well and good to rail about evil chemical companies or venal politicians.
  • venal and inept, his government surely needs to be replaced.
  • Even many of his critics see him as a deluded knight-errant rather than as a venal opportunist.
  • Looking at what consumers can do to avoid being bitten twice first by the vermin and then by a venal exterminator.
  • He could try to fight impeachment in parliament, by cajoling venal politicians there.
  • No longer would the former general be beholden to venal political parties.
  • The courage politicians organize their energies by picking fights with venal foes.
  • Whatever sin you committed to end up in one of those must have been comparatively venal.
  • The same cunning maidservant outwits another foolish and venal official.
British Dictionary definitions for venal

venal

/ˈviːnəl/
adjective
1.
easily bribed or corrupted; mercenary: a venal magistrate
2.
characterized by corruption: a venal civilization
3.
open to purchase, esp by bribery: a venal contract
Derived Forms
venality (viːˈnælɪtɪ) noun
venally, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin vēnālis, from vēnum sale
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for venal
adj.

1650s, "offered for sale, capable of being obtained for a price," from French vénal, from Latin venalis "that is for sale," from venum (nominative *venus) "for sale," from PIE root *wes- "to buy, sell" (cf. Sanskrit vasnah "purchase money," vasnam "reward," vasnayati "he bargains, haggles;" Greek onos "price paid, purchase," oneisthai "to buy").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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