Definition of venerable in English:



  • 1Accorded a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character.

    ‘a venerable statesman’
    • ‘This last factor will weigh particularly heavily with Egypt's Mubarak, now the venerable elder statesman of the Arab world.’
    • ‘It was a wonderful afternoon, all of us upstarts, edgy and feisty, garnering the imprimatur of the venerable professor.’
    • ‘But when that venerable team melted into the sunset, normal service was resumed.’
    • ‘Rather than impose preconceived plans on a venerable company with a distinct culture, he's going to listen first.’
    • ‘He was also acutely aware of being part a long and venerable exegetical tradition.’
    • ‘In fact, Eminem seems constitutionally incapable of partaking in hip-hop's most venerable traditions.’
    • ‘Eugene, you are from the venerable Catholic tradition, which of course has been around a long time.’
    • ‘The venerable A-level celebrates its 54th birthday this year.’
    • ‘The venerable Sir Walter Scott, who self-consciously wrote romances, criticized Jane Austen for not being romantic enough.’
    • ‘The thought of making money at the expense of these venerable institutions was hugely tempting.’
    • ‘Sendmail is one of the most venerable internet software packages still in widespread use.’
    • ‘All of these are venerable human institutions that we recently decided to change.’
    • ‘Yes, I did that venerable one a favor; I did what nobody else would.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most venerable and prestigious general scientific journal in the world is Nature.’
    • ‘The police are also rediscovering the benefits of some of our more venerable instruments.’
    • ‘They don't have the venerable institutions and structures of the two big parties.’
    • ‘There is also a long and venerable family tradition of building and constructing.’
    • ‘I wait to see whether an even more venerable Caledonian diver will now come forward.’
    respected, venerated, revered, reverenced, worshipped, honoured, esteemed, hallowed, august, distinguished, acclaimed, celebrated, lionized
    renowned, illustrious, glorious, legendary, famed, eminent, pre-eminent, great, elevated, prominent, notable, noted
    respectable, reputable, decent, honourable, worthy, exemplary
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(in the Roman Catholic Church) a title given to a deceased person who has attained a certain degree of sanctity but has not been fully beatified or canonized.
      • ‘Lee Petty, the venerable patriarch, died on April 5 at age 86 of complications from a stomach aneurysm.’
      • ‘By then, the venerable Ron Newman had given way to former U.S. national team coach Bob Gansler, but the Wizards woes continued.’
      • ‘The first stage is where a person is declared a Servant of God, the next is where the Church declares a person venerable.’
    2. 1.2(in the Anglican Church) a title given to an archdeacon.
      • ‘The venerable abbot is himself a traitor, while Fan Dabei, the drunken beggar, turns out to be a warrior with a mission.’
      • ‘For example, the venerable Everett Ferguson writes on ordination and the authority of the congregation in the early church.’
      • ‘The nuptial ceremony was performed by the venerable archdeacon John Murray assisted by Dean Timothy O'Connor PP.’
      • ‘The venerable church father approached the Bible as if he were sitting down to a beautifully presented, sumptuous banquet feast.’
      • ‘Leading the charge against Graham was none other than Reinhold Niebuhr, the venerable professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin venerabilis, from the verb venerari (see venerate).