Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

venerable

[ven-er-uh-buh l]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. 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.
  2. a title for someone proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church to have attained the first degree of sanctity or of an Anglican archdeacon.
  3. (of places, buildings, etc.) hallowed by religious, historic, or other lofty associations: the venerable halls of the abbey.
  4. impressive or interesting because of age, antique appearance, etc.: a venerable oak tree.
  5. extremely old or obsolete; ancient: a venerable automobile.
Show More
noun
  1. a venerable person.
Show More

Origin of venerable

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin venerābilis, equivalent to venerā(rī) to venerate + -bilis -ble
Related formsven·er·a·bil·i·ty, ven·er·a·ble·ness, nounven·er·a·bly, adverbqua·si-ven·er·a·ble, adjectivequa·si-ven·er·a·bly, adverbun·ven·er·a·bil·i·ty, nounun·ven·er·a·ble, adjectiveun·ven·er·a·ble·ness, nounun·ven·er·a·bly, adverb
Can be confusedvenerable vulnerable
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for venerably

Historical Examples

  • That venerably bearded sexagenarian, with his philosophic leanings?

    The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to prose. Volume I (of X) - Greece

    Various

  • If this be the junior lord of the Admiralty,” thought I, “how venerably patriarchal must be his four seniors!

    Rattlin the Reefer

    Edward Howard

  • Pages, venerably yellow, should not be cased in military morocco, but in sober brown russia.


British Dictionary definitions for venerably

venerable

adjective
  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. ancientvenerable 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
Show More
Derived Formsvenerability or venerableness, nounvenerably, adverb

Word Origin

C15: from Latin venerābilis, from venerārī to venerate
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

Word Origin and History for venerably

venerable

adj.

early 15c., from Latin 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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper