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venal

Line breaks: venal
Pronunciation: /ˈviːn(ə)l
 
/

Definition of venal in English:

adjective

Showing or motivated by susceptibility to bribery; corrupt: local customs officers are notoriously venal their generosity had been at least partly venal
More example sentences
  • Leaders have offered the people little but venal, corrupt governance for decades.
  • That said, of course there are many self serving, venal politicians.
  • But politicians are expected to be venal and self-serving if given the chance.
Synonyms
corrupt, corruptible, bribable, open to bribery, purchasable, buyable, grafting;
dishonest, fraudulent, dishonourable, untrustworthy, unscrupulous, unprincipled;
mercenary, avaricious, grasping, rapacious
informal bent, crooked, warped, shady

Origin

mid 17th century (in the sense 'available for purchase', referring to merchandise or a favour): from Latin venalis, from venum 'thing for sale'.

Usage

On the difference between venal and venial, see venial (usage).

Derivatives

venality

1
Pronunciation: /-ˈnalɪti/
noun
Example sentences
  • Back then, the venality of the criminals was often matched by the corruption of the police.
  • One after another, scandal stories have tumbled onto front pages during the past month - tales of sordid excess, gross stupidity, evil venality and troubling secrecy in high places.
  • It's not like we've a shortage of venality, corruption and lust (not to mention hypocrisy) in this country.

venally

2
adverb
Example sentences
  • The argument seemed so compellingly moral and just, the counter-argument so venally self-interested.
  • Lately, I've been thinking a lot about history of this industry and how stupidly and/or venally it has been managed.
  • Children are quite capable, I think, of appreciating when playing along is to their advantage and, less venally, when playing along is something they think will please their parents.

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