[ veen-l ]
See synonyms for venal on
  1. willing to sell one's influence, especially in return for a bribe; open to bribery; mercenary: a venal judge.

  2. able to be purchased, as by a bribe: venal acquittals.

  1. associated with or characterized by bribery:a venal administration; venal agreements.

Origin of venal

1645–55; <Latin vēnālis, equivalent to vēn(um) (accusative) for sale (cf. vend) + -ālis-al1

synonym study For venal

1. See corrupt.

Other words for venal

Opposites for venal

Other words from venal

  • ve·nal·ly, adverb
  • non·ve·nal, adjective
  • non·ve·nal·ly, adverb
  • un·ve·nal, adjective

Words that may be confused with venal

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

How to use venal in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for venal


/ (ˈviːnəl) /

  1. easily bribed or corrupted; mercenary: a venal magistrate

  2. characterized by corruption: a venal civilization

  1. open to purchase, esp by bribery: a venal contract

Origin of venal

C17: from Latin vēnālis, from vēnum sale

Derived forms of venal

  • venality (viːˈnælɪtɪ), noun
  • venally, 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