venal: bargained for; marketed, possibly corruptly.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

Ve"nal (?), a. [L. vena a vein.]

Of or pertaining to veins; venous; as, venal blood.



© Webster 1913.

Ve"nal, a. [L. venalis, from venus sale; akin to Gr. price, Skr. vasna: cf. F. v'enal.]

Capable of being bought or obtained for money or other valuable consideration; made matter of trade or barter; held for sale; salable; mercenary; purchasable; hireling; as, venal services.

" Paid court to venal beauties."


The venal cry and prepared vote of a passive senate. Burke.

Syn. -- Mercenary; hireling; vendible. -- Venal, Mercenary. One is mercenary who is either actually a hireling (as, mercenary soldiers, a mercenary judge, etc.), or is governed by a sordid love of gain; hence, we speak of mercenary motives, a mercenary marriage, etc. Venal goes further, and supposes either an actual purchase, or a readiness to be purchased, which places a person or thing wholly in the power of the purchaser; as, a venal press. Brissot played ingeniously on the latter word in his celebrated saying, " My pen is venal that it may not be mercenary," meaning that he wrote books, and sold them to the publishers, in order to avoid the necessity of being the hireling of any political party.

Thus needy wits a vile revenue made, And verse became a mercenary trade. Dryden.

This verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse This, from no venal or ungrateful muse. Pope.


© Webster 1913.

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