Word: venerable

Pronunciation: VE-n(ə)r-ə-b(ə)l

Part of Speech: adjective

Definition: accorded a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character

Source: Oxford Dictionaries

It’s Memorial Day in the US, a time to remember and revere the brave men and women who have died while serving in the military, so for today’s Word of the Week, I felt it appropriate to feature a vocabulary word related to respect. I’ve used this word several times before to describe people and characters worthy of high esteem, which is why I consider it especially fitting for today. After all, there are few people more “venerable” than those willing to risk their lives for the love of their country!

A “venerable” person is someone who deserves great respect, particularly due to character, age, or wisdom. The word arose in late Middle English and comes from the Latin adjective venerabilis, meaning “respectable”. This adjective stems from the verb venerari, which means “to adore”.

In a more historical context, “venerable” is also used by the Catholic Church as “a title given to a deceased person who has attained a certain degree of sanctity but has not been fully beatified or canonized”, as well as by the Anglican Church as “a title given to an archdeacon”. Also worth noting is this adjective’s relation to the verb “venerate”, which means to “regard with great respect”. If you look up to certain people whose words and actions warrant reverence, you already have great inspiration for some “venerable” characters in your stories!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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