commanding respect because of great age or impressive dignity; worthy of veneration or reverence, as because of high office or noble character: a venerable member of Congress.
a title for someone proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church to have attained the first degree of sanctity or of an Anglican archdeacon.
(of places, buildings, etc.) hallowed by religious, historic, or other lofty associations: the venerable halls of the abbey.
impressive or interesting because of age, antique appearance, etc.: a venerable oak tree.
extremely old or obsolete; ancient: a venerable automobile.
a venerable person.

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin venerābilis, equivalent to venerā() to venerate + -bilis -ble

venerability, venerableness, noun
venerably, adverb
quasi-venerable, adjective
quasi-venerably, adverb
unvenerability, noun
unvenerable, adjective
unvenerableness, noun
unvenerably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
venerable (ˈvɛnərəbəl)
1.  (esp of a person) worthy of reverence on account of great age, religious associations, character, position, etc
2.  (of inanimate objects) hallowed or impressive on account of historical or religious association
3.  ancient: venerable tomes
4.  RC Church a title bestowed on a deceased person when the first stage of his canonization has been accomplished and his holiness has been recognized in a decree of the official Church
5.  Church of England a title given to an archdeacon
[C15: from Latin venerābilis, from venerārī to venerate]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

early 15c., from L. venerabilis, from venerari "to worship, revere" (see veneration). As a title, used in reference to ecclesiastics or those who had obtained the first degree of canonization.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


title or respectful form of address, used from very early times in Europe, especially for certain clergy or for laymen of marked spiritual merit. St. Augustine in some epistles cited the term in reference to bishops, and Philip I of France was styled venerabilis and venerandus ("reverential"). The venerable by which Saint Bede is commonly known ("the Venerable Bede," or "Bede the Venerable") survives from a contemporary practice of so addressing bishops and abbots and, posthumously, worthy clerics such as Bede.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The trails will take you through mossy forests to stunning, venerable arboreal
Turns out the venerable old chocolate maker got his start in caramel.
They could be seen in a venerable set of drawings provided by the collection.
The venerable warp drive is science fiction no longer.
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