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90s Slang You Should Know


[vuh-rahy-i-tee] /vəˈraɪ ɪ ti/
noun, plural varieties.
the state of being varied or diversified:
to give variety to a diet.
difference; discrepancy.
a number of different types of things, especially ones in the same general category:
a large variety of fruits.
a kind or sort.
a different form, condition, or phase of something:
varieties of pastry; a variety of economic reforms.
a category within a species, based on some hereditary difference.
a type of animal or plant produced by artificial selection.
Philately. a stamp differing from others of the same issue through an accident other than an error of an artist or printer.
Compare error (def 8), freak1 (def 5).
Also called variety show. entertainment of mixed character, consisting of a number of individual performances or acts, as of singing, dancing, or skits.
Compare vaudeville (def 1).
of, relating to, or characteristic of a variety:
a variety performer.
Origin of variety
1525-35; < Latin varietās, equivalent to vari(us) various + -etās, variant of -itās -ity after a vowel
Related forms
nonvariety, noun, plural nonvarieties.
overvariety, noun
subvariety, noun, plural subvarieties.
1. diversity, multiplicity. 3. assortment, collection, group. 5. kind, sort, class, species.
1. sameness.
Usage note
3, 5. As a collective noun, variety, when preceded by a, is often treated as a plural: A variety of inexpensive goods are sold here. When preceded by the, it is usually treated as a singular: The variety of products is small. See also collective noun, number. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for variety
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It must always remain a variety for the amateur and for special localities.

    The Grapes of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • She was now to be amused with variety, and the prim was offered to her contemplation.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • A near-by squad was making baskets, using a variety of materials.

    Ethel Morton at Chautauqua Mabell S. C. Smith
  • There is some variety in mining bauxite, for it occurs in three forms.

    Diggers in the Earth Eva March Tappan
  • The many pestiferous species vary greatly in importance, depending on locality, weather and the variety.

British Dictionary definitions for variety


noun (pl) -ties
the quality or condition of being diversified or various
a collection of unlike things, esp of the same general group; assortment
a different form or kind within a general category; sort: varieties of behaviour
  1. (taxonomy) a race whose distinct characters are insufficient to justify classification as a separate species; a subspecies
  2. (horticulture, stockbreeding) a strain of animal or plant produced by artificial breeding
  1. entertainment consisting of a series of short unrelated performances or acts, such as comedy turns, songs, dances, sketches, etc
  2. (as modifier): a variety show
Word Origin
C16: from Latin varietās, from various
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 variety

1530s, from Middle French variété, from Latin varietatem (nominative varietas) "difference, diversity," from varius "various" (see vary). In reference to "music hall or theatrical performances of a mixed nature," first recorded 1868, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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