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veriest

[ver-ee-ist]
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adjective
  1. utmost; most complete: the veriest stupidity.
  2. superlative of very.
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Origin of veriest

very

[ver-ee]
adverb
  1. in a high degree; extremely; exceedingly: A giant is very tall.
  2. (used as an intensive emphasizing superlatives or stressing identity or oppositeness): the very best thing; in the very same place as before.
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adjective, (Obsolete) ver·i·er, ver·i·est.
  1. precise; particular: That is the very item we want.
  2. mere: The very thought of it is distressing.
  3. sheer; utter: He wept from the very joy of knowing he was safe.
  4. actual: He was caught in the very act of stealing.
  5. being such in the true or fullest sense of the term; extreme: the very heart of the matter.
  6. true; genuine; worthy of being called such: the very God; a very fool.
  7. rightful or legitimate.
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Origin of very

1200–50; Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French verai (French vrai) < Vulgar Latin *vērācus, for Latin vērāx truthful, equivalent to vēr(us) true (cognate with Old English wǣr, German wahr true, correct) + -āx adj. suffix
Can be confusedmuch very (see usage note at the current entry)

Synonyms

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5. pure, simple, plain.

Usage note

Past participles that have become established as adjectives can, like most English adjectives, be modified by the adverb very : a very driven person; We were very concerned for your safety. Very does not modify past participles that are clearly verbal; for example, The lid was very sealed is not an idiomatic construction, while The lid was very tightly sealed is. Sometimes confusion arises over whether a given past participle is adjectival and thus able to be modified by very without an intervening adverb. However, there is rarely any objection to the use of this intervening adverb, no matter how the past participle is functioning. Such use often occurs in edited writing: We were very much relieved to find the children asleep. They were very greatly excited by the news. I feel very badly cheated.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for veriest

Historical Examples

  • All this must have seemed the veriest irony when addressed to an outcast Jew.

    The Man Shakespeare

    Frank Harris

  • Nothing was left of the wildebeeste save the head and the veriest offal.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Your marriage to her can only be considered as the veriest mockery.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

  • For love will convert the veriest coward into an inspired hero.

  • The veriest muck-worm in the market-place spat out at sight of him.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine


British Dictionary definitions for veriest

veriest

adjective
  1. archaic (intensifier)the veriest coward
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very

adverb
  1. (intensifier) used to add emphasis to adjectives that are able to be gradedvery good; very tall
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adjective (prenominal)
  1. (intensifier) used with nouns preceded by a definite article or possessive determiner, in order to give emphasis to the significance, appropriateness or relevance of a noun in a particular context, or to give exaggerated intensity to certain nounsthe very man I want to see; his very name struck terror; the very back of the room
  2. (intensifier) used in metaphors to emphasize the applicability of the image to the situation describedhe was a very lion in the fight
  3. archaic
    1. real or true; genuinethe very living God
    2. lawfulthe very vengeance of the gods
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French verai true, from Latin vērax true, from vērus true

usage

In strict usage adverbs of degree such as very, too, quite, really, and extremely are used only to qualify adjectives: he is very happy; she is too sad. By this rule, these words should not be used to qualify past participles that follow the verb to be, since they would then be technically qualifying verbs. With the exception of certain participles, such as tired or disappointed, that have come to be regarded as adjectives, all other past participles are qualified by adverbs such as much, greatly, seriously, or excessively: he has been much (not very) inconvenienced; she has been excessively (not too) criticized
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 veriest

very

adj.

mid-13c., verray "true, real, genuine," later "actual, sheer" (late 14c.), from Anglo-French verrai, Old French verai "true," from Vulgar Latin *veracus, from Latin verax (genitive veracis) "truthful," from verus "true," from PIE *weros- (cf. Old English wær "a compact," Old Dutch, Old High German war, Dutch waar, German wahr "true;" Welsh gwyr, Old Irish fir "true;" Old Church Slavonic vera "faith"). Meaning "greatly, extremely" is first recorded mid-15c. Used as a pure intensive since Middle English.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with veriest

very

In addition to the idioms beginning with very

also see:

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.