Venal

Ve"nal

, a. [L. venalis, from venus sale; akin to Gr. 'w^nos price, Skr. vasna: cf. F. vnal.] 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." Macaulay.
[1913 Webster]

The venal cry and prepared vote of a passive senate.
Burke.
[1913 Webster]

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.
[1913 Webster]

Thus needy wits a vile revenue made,
And verse became a mercenary trade.
Dryden.
[1913 Webster]

This verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse
This, from no venal or ungrateful muse.
Pope.
[1913 Webster]

 

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Sat 15th December 2018