- 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.
Origin of venerable
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for venerably
That venerably bearded sexagenarian, with his philosophic leanings?
If this be the junior lord of the Admiralty,” thought I, “how venerably patriarchal must be his four seniors!Rattlin the Reefer
Pages, venerably yellow, should not be cased in military morocco, but in sober brown russia.The Book Lovers' Anthology
- (esp of a person) worthy of reverence on account of great age, religious associations, character, position, etc
- (of inanimate objects) hallowed or impressive on account of historical or religious association
- ancientvenerable tomes
- 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
- Church of England a title given to an archdeacon
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
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper