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[vair-ee-uh s] /ˈvɛər i əs/
of different kinds, as two or more things; differing one from another:
Various experiments have not proved his theory.
marked by or exhibiting variety or diversity:
houses of various designs.
presenting or having many different qualities or aspects:
a woman of various talent.
having a variety of colors; varicolored.
different from each other; dissimilar.
numerous; many:
living at various hotels.
individual (in a group, class, kind, etc.); separate:
permission from various officials in Washington.
Informal. several, many, or numerous ones:
I spoke with various of them.
Origin of various
1545-55; < Latin varius speckled, variegated, hence manifold, diverse; see -ous
Related forms
variously, adverb
variousness, noun
nonvarious, adjective
nonvariously, adverb
nonvariousness, noun
2. sundry. 3. diversified, variegated, varied, divers.
1. identical, same, uniform, similar.
Synonym Study
1. Various, different, distinct, diverse describe things that are not identical or alike. Various stresses the multiplicity of sorts or instances of a thing or a class of things: various sorts of seaweed; busy with various duties. Different emphasizes separateness and dissimilarity: two different (or differing) versions of the same story. Distinct implies a uniqueness that is clear and unmistakable: plans similar in objective but distinct in method. Diverse usually suggests a disparity capable of leading to conflict or disagreement: diverse views on how the area should be zoned. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for various
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What if the latter should light on some of his various hiding places for money?

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Harriet was known by various names among her Southern friends.

  • But various interests were antagonized, and opposition was aroused.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • A series of concerts followed, at which various oratorios and other works were performed.

    Handel Edward J. Dent
  • This had, however, been broken in various places by the enemy.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill
British Dictionary definitions for various


  1. several different: he is an authority on various subjects
  2. (not standard) (as pronoun; followed by of): various of them came
of different kinds, though often within the same general category; diverse: various occurrences, his disguises are many and various
(prenominal) relating to a collection of separate persons or things: the various members of the club
displaying variety; many-sided: his various achievements are most impressive
(poetic) variegated
(obsolete) inconstant
Derived Forms
variously, adverb
variousness, noun
Usage note
The use of different after various should be avoided: the disease exists in various forms (not in various different forms)
Word Origin
C16: from Latin varius changing; perhaps related to Latin vārus crooked
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 various

early 15c., "characterized by variety," from Middle French varieux, from Latin varius "changing, different, diverse" (see vary). Meaning "different from one another" is recorded from 1630s. Related: Variously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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