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[vair-ee-i-geyt, vair-i-geyt] /ˈvɛər i ɪˌgeɪt, ˈvɛər ɪˌgeɪt/
verb (used with object), variegated, variegating.
to make varied in appearance, as by adding different colors.
to give variety to; diversify.
Origin of variegate
1645-55; < Late Latin variegātus (past participle of variegāre to make (something) look varied), equivalent to Latin vari(us) various + -eg- (combining form of agere to do; see agent) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
variegator, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for variegate
Historical Examples
  • The Ashburners and Sedgwicks continue your tradition and even ornament or variegate it with their own original force.

  • Possibly the purple patches of relaxation which variegate the lives of the inmates are too few and too far between.

    The Vagrancy Problem. William Harbutt Dawson
  • Their clothes they variegate by steeping them in dyes, which produce a colour not easily effaced.

  • Body black or sordidly metallic greenish gray, usually yellow pollinose or variegate; gen at most hairy above.

    Handbook of Medical Entomology William Albert Riley
British Dictionary definitions for variegate


verb (transitive)
to alter the appearance of, esp by adding different colours
to impart variety to
Derived Forms
variegation, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin variegāre, from Latin varius diverse, various + agere to make
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for variegate

"to mark with different colors," 1640s (implied in variegation), from Late Latin variegatus "made of various sorts or colors," past participle of variegare "diversify with different colors," from varius "spotted, changing, varying" (see vary) + root of agere "to drive" (see act). Related: Variegated; vareiegating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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