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[vair-ee-i-gey-tid, vair-i-gey-] /ˈvɛər i ɪˌgeɪ tɪd, ˈvɛər ɪˌgeɪ-/
varied in appearance or color; marked with patches or spots of different colors.
varied; diversified; diverse.
Origin of variegated
First recorded in 1655-65; variegate + -ed2
Related forms
unvariegated, adjective


[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.
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 variegated
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Tulips are opening their variegated cups, and daffodils line the walls.

  • Do not manure the ground for golden or variegated leaved shrubs.

  • There was a confident impelling forward of the shaft of the variegated standard.

    Y Gododin Aneurin
  • The gills are attached, not broad, ascending, variegated with gray and black.

  • The gills are adnexed, dark slate-colored, variegated with black spores.

  • The tail of the former kind is variegated in a circle; of the other, white at the side.

    The Sportsman Xenophon
  • Thus he fell, and his armour, variegated with brass, rang about him.

  • The beauty in its variegated stone with the sunlight upon it attracts me.

    Patchwork Anna Balmer Myers
  • With them were "ladies' men," in variegated golf-stockings and gorgeous hat-bands.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
British Dictionary definitions for variegated


displaying differently coloured spots, patches, streaks, etc
(of foliage or flowers) having pale patches, usually as a result of mutation, infection, etc


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 variegated



"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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