Venetian (n.) Look up Venetian at
early 15c., "native or resident of Venice," from Medieval Latin Venetianus, from Venetia (see Venice). Also probably in part from Old French Venicien. As a kind of dress cloth, from 1710. As an adjective from 1550s. Venetian blinds, made of thin light slats suspended on strips of webbing, so called by 1791 (see blinds).
Venezuela Look up Venezuela at
Spanish, diminutive of Venecia "Venice" (see Venice). Supposedly the name was given by Spanish sailors in 1499 when they saw a native village built on piles on Lake Maracaibo. Related: Venezuelan.
venge (v.) Look up venge at
"avenge," c. 1300, from Old French vengier "revenge, avenge, punish," from Latin vindicare "avenge, vindicate" (see vindication). Related: Venged; venging.
vengeance (n.) Look up vengeance at
c. 1300, from Anglo-French vengeaunce, Old French vengeance, venjance "revenge, retribution" (12c.), from vengier "take revenge," from Latin vindicare "assert a claim, claim as one's own; avenge, punish" (see vindicate).
Vengeance is mine, ... saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. [Paul to the Romans, xii:19-20]
vengeful (adj.) Look up vengeful at
1580s, from obsolete venge (v.) "take revenge" + -ful. Related: Vengefully; vengefulness.
venial (adj.) Look up venial at
c. 1300, "pardonable," from Old French venial "pardonable, excusable" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin venialis "pardonable," from Latin venia "forgiveness, indulgence, pardon, favor," from PIE *wen-ya- "sexual love, desire," suffixed form of root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for." Related: Venially.
Venice Look up Venice at
(Italian Venezia, German Venedig), from Medieval Latin Venetia, from Veneti (Greek Ouenetoi), name of an ancient people of Illyrian origin.
venire Look up venire at
1660s, elliptical for venire facias (mid-15c.), Latin, literally "that you cause to come," formerly the first words in a writ to a sheriff to summon a jury, from venire "to come," from PIE root *gwa- "to go, come."
venison (n.) Look up venison at
c. 1300, from Old French venesoun "meat of large game," especially deer or boar, also "a hunt," from Latin venationem (nominative venatio) "a hunt, hunting, the chase," also "game as the product of the hunt," from venatus, past participle of venari "to hunt, pursue," probably from PIE *wen-a-, from root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for."
Venn diagram (n.) Look up Venn diagram at
1918 (Venn's diagram is from 1904), named for English logician John Venn (1834-1923) of Cambridge, who explained them in the book "Symbolic Logic" (1881).
venom (n.) Look up venom at
mid-13c., venim, venym, "poison secreted by some animals and transferred by biting," from Anglo-French and Old French venim, venin "poison; malice," from Vulgar Latin *venimen (source also of Italian veleno, Spanish veneno), from Latin venenum "poison," earlier (pre-classical) "drug, medical potion," also "charm, seduction," probably originally "love potion," from PIE *wenes-no-, from root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for." Variously deformed in post-Latin languages, apparently by dissimilation. Modern spelling in English from late 14c. The meaning "bitter, virulent feeling or language" is first recorded c. 1300.
venomous (adj.) Look up venomous at
c. 1300, from Anglo-French venimeus, Old French venimos (12c., Modern French venimeux), from venim (see venom). Earliest recorded use is figurative; literal sense by early 14c. Related: Venomously; venomousness.
venous (adj.) Look up venous at
1620s, from Latin venosus "full of veins," from vena (see vein).
vent (v.) Look up vent at
late 14c., "emit from a confined space," probably a shortening of aventer "expose oneself to the air" (c. 1300), from Old French eventer "let out, expose to air," from Vulgar Latin *exventare, from Latin ex "out" + ventus "wind" (see wind (n.1)). Sense of "express freely" first recorded 1590s. Sense of "divulge, publish" (1590s) is behind phrase vent one's spleen (see spleen). Related: Vented; venting.
vent (n.) Look up vent at
c. 1400, "anus," from Old French vent from verb eventer (see vent (v.)) and in part from Middle English aventer, from the French verb. Perhaps also merged with or influenced by Middle English fent "opening or slit in a the front of a garment (usually held closed with a brooch)," c. 1400, from Old French fente, from Latin findere "to split" (from PIE root *bheid- "to split"). Meaning "outlet for water," also "air hole, breathing hole" is from mid-15c. Meaning "action of venting" is recorded from c. 1500.
ventilate (v.) Look up ventilate at
early 15c., "to scatter, disperse (as the wind does)," from Latin ventilatus, past participle of ventilare "to brandish, toss in the air, winnow, fan, agitate, set in motion," from ventulus "a breeze," diminutive of ventus "wind" (see wind (n.1)). Original notion is of cleaning grain by tossing it in the air and letting the wind blow away the chaff. Meaning "supply a room with fresh air" first recorded 1743, a verbal derivative of ventilation. Formerly with diverse slang senses, including "shoot" (someone), recorded from 1875, on the notion of "make holes in." Related: Ventilated; ventilating.
ventilation (n.) Look up ventilation at
"process of replacing foul air in an enclosed place with fresh, pure air," 1660s, from Latin ventilationem (nominative ventilatio) "an exposing to the air," noun of action from past participle stem of ventilare (see ventilate).
ventilator (n.) Look up ventilator at
1743, agent noun from ventilate. Latin ventilator meant "a winnower."
ventral (adj.) Look up ventral at
1739, from French ventral or directly from Late Latin ventralis "of or pertaining to the belly or stomach," from Latin venter (genitive ventris) "belly, paunch; stomach, appetite; womb, unborn child," from PIE *wend-tri- (source also of Latin vesica "bladder," Sanskrit vastih "bladder," Old High German wanast, German wanst "paunch, belly"), perhaps from root *udero- "abdomen, womb, stomach" (see uterus).
ventricle (n.) Look up ventricle at
late 14c., "small chamber or cavity within a bodily organ," especially of the heart, from Latin ventriculus (in reference to the heart, ventriculus cordis), literally "little belly," diminutive of venter (genitive ventris) "belly" (see ventral).
ventriloquism (n.) Look up ventriloquism at
1773, in the modern sense, from ventriloquy + -ism.
ventriloquist (n.) Look up ventriloquist at
1650s in the classical sense, from ventriloquy + -ist. In the modern sense from c. 1800. Ventriloquists in ancient Greece were Pythones, a reference to the Delphic Oracle. Another English word for them was gastromyth.
ventriloquy (n.) Look up ventriloquy at
1580s, from Late Latin ventriloquus, from Latin venter (genitive ventris) "belly" (see ventral) + loqui "to speak" (from PIE root *tolkw- "to speak"). Related: Ventriloquial; ventriloquize.

Patterned on Greek engastrimythos, literally "speaking in the belly," which was not originally an entertainer's trick but rather a rumbling sort of internal speech, regarded as a sign of spiritual inspiration or (more usually) demonic possession. Reference to the modern activity so called seems to have begun early 18c., and by 1797 it was being noted that this was a curiously inappropriate word to describe throwing the voice.
venture (v.) Look up venture at
early 15c., "to risk the loss" (of something), shortened form of aventure, itself a form of adventure. General sense of "to dare, to presume" is recorded from 1550s. Related: Ventured; venturing.
Nought venter nought have [Heywood, "Proverbs," 1546]
venture (n.) Look up venture at
c. 1400, "fortune, chance," shortening of aventure (n.), a variant of adventure (n.); also from Anglo-French venture. Sense of "risky undertaking" first recorded 1560s; meaning "enterprise of a business nature" is recorded from 1580s. Venture capital is attested from 1943.
venturesome (adj.) Look up venturesome at
1660s, from venture + -some (1).
Venturi Look up Venturi at
type of tube, 1887, in reference to Italian physicist G.B. Venturi (1746-1822).
venturous (adj.) Look up venturous at
"daring, bold, hardy," 1560s, shortened form of adventurous, influenced by venture.
venue (n.) Look up venue at
c. 1300, "a coming for the purpose of attack," from Old French venue "coming" (12c.), from fem. past participle of venir "to come," from Latin venire "to come," from PIE root *gwa- "to go, come." The sense of "place where a case in law is tried" is first recorded 1530s. Extended to locality in general, especially "site of a concert or sporting event" (1857). Change of venue is from Blackstone (1768).
venule (n.) Look up venule at
"small vein," 1850, from Latin venula, diminutive of vena "vein" (see vein).
Venus Look up Venus at
late Old English, from Latin Venus (plural veneres), in ancient Roman mythology, the goddess of beauty and love, especially sensual love, from venus "love, sexual desire; loveliness, beauty, charm; a beloved object," from PIE root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for."

Applied by the Romans to Greek Aphrodite, Egyptian Hathor, etc. Applied in English to any beautiful, attractive woman by 1570s. As the name of the most brilliant planet from late 13c., from this sense in Latin (Old English called it morgensteorra and æfensteorra). The venus fly-trap (Dionæa muscipula) was discovered 1760 by Gov. Arthur Dobbs in North Carolina and description sent to Collinson in England. The Central Atlantic Coast Algonquian name for the plant, /titipiwitshik/, yielded regional American English tippity wichity.
Venusian (n.) Look up Venusian at
"(hypothetical) inhabitant of the second planet from the sun," 1866, from Venus + -ian. Middle English had Venerian "one under the influence of the planet Venus; a lover" (late 14c.).
ver (n.) Look up ver at
"springtime," late 14c., from Old French ver or directly from Latin ver "the spring, spring-time" (see vernal).
ver- Look up ver- at
German prefix "denoting destruction, reversal, or completion" [Watkins], from Proto-Germanic *fer-, *far-, from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through."
Vera Look up Vera at
fem. proper name, from Latin, literally "true" (see very).
veracious (adj.) Look up veracious at
"habitually disposed to speak truth," 1670s, from Latin verac-, stem of verax "according to truth, truthful," from verus "true" (from PIE root *were-o- "true, trustworthy") + -ous.
veracity (n.) Look up veracity at
1620s, from French véracité (17c.), from Medieval Latin veracitatem (nominative veracitas) "truthfulness," from Latin verax (genitive veracis) "truthful," from verus "true" (from PIE root *were-o- "true, trustworthy").
veranda (n.) Look up veranda at
also verandah, 1711, Anglo-Indian, from Hindi varanda, which probably is from Portuguese varanda, originally "long balcony or terrace," of uncertain origin, possibly related to Spanish baranda "railing," and ultimately from Vulgar Latin *barra "barrier, bar." French véranda is borrowed from English.
That the word as used in England and in France was brought by the English from India need not be doubted. But either in the same sense, or in one closely analogous, it appears to have existed, quite independently, in Portuguese and Spanish; and the manner in which it occurs without explanation in the very earliest narrative of the adventure of the Portuguese in India ... seems almost to preclude the possibility of their having learned it in that country for the first time .... [Col. Henry Yule and A.C. Burnell, "Hobson-Jobson, A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases," 1903]
verb (n.) Look up verb at
late 14c., from Old French verbe "word; word of God; saying; part of speech that expresses action or being" (12c.) and directly from Latin verbum "verb," originally "a word," from PIE root *were- (3) "to speak" (source also of Avestan urvata- "command;" Sanskrit vrata- "command, vow;" Greek rhetor "public speaker," rhetra "agreement, covenant," eirein "to speak, say;" Hittite weriga- "call, summon;" Lithuanian vardas "name;" Gothic waurd, Old English word "word").
verbage (n.) Look up verbage at
variant of verbiage (q.v.).
verbal (adj.) Look up verbal at
early 15c., "dealing with words" (especially in contrast to things or realities), from Old French verbal (14c.) and directly from Late Latin verbalis "consisting of words, relating to verbs," from Latin verbum "word" (see verb). Related: Verbally. Verbal conditioning is recorded from 1954. Colloquial verbal diarrhea is recorded from 1823. A verbal noun is a noun derived from a verb and sharing in its senses and constructions.
verbalization (n.) Look up verbalization at
1837, noun of action from verbalize.
verbalize (v.) Look up verbalize at
c. 1600, "use too many words," from French verbaliser (16c.); see verbal. Meaning "express in words" is attested from 1875. Related: Verbalized; verbalizing.
verbarian (n.) Look up verbarian at
"word-coiner," 1873, from Latin verbum "word" (see verb) + -arian. Coleridge (or the friend he was quoting) had used it earlier as an adjective, and with a different sense, in wishing for: "a verbarian Attorney-General, authorised to bring informations ex officio against the writer or editor of any work in extensive circulation, who, after due notice issued, should persevere in misusing a word" (1830).
verbatim (adv.) Look up verbatim at
late 15c., from Medieval Latin verbatim "word for word," from Latin verbum "word" (see verb). As an adjective from 1737.
verbena (n.) Look up verbena at
genus of plants, the vervain, 1560s, from Latin verbena "leaves or twigs of olive, myrtle, laurel, or other sacred plants employed in religious ceremonies," from PIE *werbh- "to turn, bend" (source also of Lithuanian virbas "twig, branch, scion, rod"), from root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend."
verbiage (n.) Look up verbiage at
"abundance of words," 1721, from French verbiage "wordiness" (17c.), from Middle French verbier "to chatter," from Old French verbe "word," from Latin verbum "word" (see verb).
verbicide (n.) Look up verbicide at
"the killing of a word" by perversion from its original meaning, 1836, from Latin verbum "word" (see verb) + -cide "a killing."
verbiculture (n.) Look up verbiculture at
"the production of words," 1873, from Latin verbum "word" (see verb) + ending from agriculture, etc. Coined by Fitzedward Hall, in "Modern English." He was scolded for it in the "Edinburgh Review."
verbigeration (n.) Look up verbigeration at
"the continual utterance of certain words or phrases, repeated at short intervals, without any reference to their meanings" [Century Dictionary], 1877, earlier in German, noun of action from Late Latin verbigere "to talk, chat, dispute," from Latin verbum (see verb).