venal


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Venal \Ve"nal\ (v[=e]"nal), a. [L. vena a vein.]
   Of or pertaining to veins; venous; as, venal blood. [R.]
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Venal \Ve"nal\, a. [L. venalis, from venus sale; akin to Gr.
   'w^nos price, Skr. vasna: cf. F. v['e]nal.]
   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.
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         The venal cry and prepared vote of a passive senate.
                                                  --Burke.
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   Syn: Mercenary; hireling; vendible.

   Usage: 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.
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                Thus needy wits a vile revenue made,
                And verse became a mercenary trade. --Dryden.
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                This verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse
                This, from no venal or ungrateful muse. --Pope.
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