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[ven-uh-suh n, -zuh n] /ˈvɛn ə sən, -zən/
the flesh of a deer or similar animal as used for food.
Origin of venison
1250-1300; Middle English ven(a)ison < Old French veneison, venaison < Latin vēnātiōn (stem of vēnātiō hunting), equivalent to vēnāt(us) (see venatic) + -iōn- -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for venison
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We had a haunch of the venison for dinner; it was very good, but without fat.

    Sport in Abyssinia Dermot Mayo
  • At length, he is persuaded--he blesses him, and eats the venison.

  • Away from the settlements buffaloes still yielded much beef, bacon was made from bears, and venison was a staple commodity.

    Daniel Boone Reuben Gold Thwaites
  • There, go you all on the rock, and I will bring up the Mohicans with the venison.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • If Esau had sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, Isaac was about to give away the blessing for a mess of venison.

    Notes on the Book of Genesis Charles Henry Mackintosh
British Dictionary definitions for venison


/ˈvɛnɪzən; -sən/
the flesh of a deer, used as food
(archaic) the flesh of any game animal used for food
Word Origin
C13: from Old French venaison, from Latin vēnātiō hunting, from vēnārī to hunt
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 venison

late 13c., from Old French venesoun "meat of large game," especially deer or boar, also "a hunt," from Latin venationem (nominative venatio) "a hunt," also "game as the product of the hunt," from venatus, past participle of venari "to hunt, pursue," probably from PIE root *weie- "to strive after, pursue with vigor, desire" (cf. Sanskrit veti "follows after," Avestan vayeiti "hunts," Lithuanian veju "to hunt, pursue," Old Church Slavonic voji "warrior," Old English waþ "hunting," Old Norse veiðr "chase, hunting, fishing;" see Venus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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