[ ven-er-uh-buhl ]
See synonyms for venerable on
  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.

  1. (of places, buildings, etc.) hallowed by religious, historic, or other lofty associations: the venerable halls of the abbey.

  2. impressive or interesting because of age, antique appearance, etc.: a venerable oak tree.

  3. extremely old or obsolete; ancient: a venerable automobile.

  1. a venerable person.

Origin of venerable

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

Other words from venerable

  • ven·er·a·bil·i·ty, ven·er·a·ble·ness, noun
  • ven·er·a·bly, adverb
  • qua·si-ven·er·a·ble, adjective
  • qua·si-ven·er·a·bly, adverb
  • un·ven·er·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • un·ven·er·a·ble, adjective
  • un·ven·er·a·ble·ness, noun
  • un·ven·er·a·bly, adverb

Words that may be confused with venerable

Words Nearby venerable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use venerable in a sentence

  • Rouen is interesting for its antiquities, including several venerable and richly adorned Churches which I had no time to visit.

    Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
  • In summer time its owners and their friends frequently tea within its venerable trunk.

  • And having embraced the venerable dwarf, he emerged out of the well roaring with laughter.

    Honey-Bee | Anatole France
  • A venerable personage appeared, and asked them for whom this road was made.

    A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 1 (of 10) | Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)
  • Everything tending to this end is to him venerable and holy, and it is in this respect alone that he worships the Lingam.

British Dictionary definitions for 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

  1. ancient: venerable tomes

  2. 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

  3. Church of England a title given to an archdeacon

Origin of venerable

C15: from Latin venerābilis, from venerārī to venerate

Derived forms of venerable

  • venerability or venerableness, noun
  • venerably, adverb

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