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vary

[vair-ee]
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verb (used with object), var·ied, var·y·ing.
  1. to change or alter, as in form, appearance, character, or substance: to vary one's methods.
  2. to cause to be different from something else: The orchestra varied last night's program with one new selection.
  3. to avoid or relieve from uniformity or monotony; diversify: to vary one's diet.
  4. Music. to alter (a melody or theme) by modification or embellishments without changing its identity.
verb (used without object), var·ied, var·y·ing.
  1. to show diversity; be different: The age at which children are ready to read varies.
  2. to undergo change in appearance, form, substance, character, etc.: The landscape begins to vary as one drives south.
  3. to change periodically or in succession; differ or alternate: Demand for certain products varies with the season.
  4. to diverge; depart; deviate (usually followed by from): to vary from the norm.
  5. Mathematics. to be subject to change.
  6. Biology. to exhibit variation.

Origin of vary

1300–50; Middle English varien < Latin variāre, equivalent to vari(us) (see various) + -āre infinitive suffix
Related formsvar·i·er, nounvar·y·ing·ly, adverbin·ter·var·y, verb (used without object), in·ter·var·ied, in·ter·var·y·ing.o·ver·var·y, verb, o·ver·var·ied, o·ver·var·y·ing.self-var·y·ing, adjectiveun·var·y·ing, adjectiveun·var·y·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. modify, mutate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vary

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The nature of these ties must vary with the different problems of different areas.

  • He was something to vary the monotony of the great solemn silence of our world.

  • They vary in form, color, and disposition, and also in the quality of their hair.

    Concerning Cats

    Helen M. Winslow

  • These are very novel, beautiful to look at, and the flavors may vary to taste.

    Culture and Cooking

    Catherine Owen

  • He might vary in the expression of his belief, but the belief itself was as immovable as the mountains.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine


British Dictionary definitions for vary

vary

verb varies, varying or varied
  1. to undergo or cause to undergo change, alteration, or modification in appearance, character, form, attribute, etc
  2. to be different or cause to be different; be subject to change
  3. (tr) to give variety to
  4. (intr foll by from) to differ, as from a convention, standard, etc
  5. (intr) to change in accordance with another variableher mood varies with the weather; pressure varies directly with temperature and inversely with volume
  6. (tr) music to modify (a theme) by the use of variation
Derived Formsvarying, adjectivevaryingly, adverb

Word Origin

C14: from Latin variāre, from varius 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

Word Origin and History for vary

v.

mid-14c. (transitive); late 14c. (intransitive), from Old French varier, from Latin variare "change, alter, make different," from varius "varied, different, spotted;" perhaps related to varus "bent, crooked, knock-kneed," and varix "varicose vein," from a PIE root *wer- (1) "high raised spot or other bodily infirmity" (cf. Old English wearte "wart," Swedish varbulde "pus swelling," Latin verruca "wart"). Related: Varied; varying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

vary in Medicine

vary

(vârē)
v.
  1. To make or cause changes in the characteristics or attributes of; modify or alter.
  2. To undergo or show change.
  3. To be different; deviate.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.