[vahr-uh; Spanish bah-rah; Portuguese vah-ruh]
noun, plural va·ras [vahr-uh z; Spanish bah-rahs; Portuguese vah-ruh sh] /ˈvɑr əz; Spanish ˈbɑ rɑs; Portuguese ˈvɑ rəʃ/.
  1. a unit of length in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries, varying from about 32 inches (81 cm) to about 43 inches (109 cm).
  2. the square vara, used as a unit of area.

Origin of vara

1595–1605; < Spanish < Latin vāra forked pole, noun use of feminine of vārus crooked, bent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vara

Historical Examples of vara

  • “The vara corpus delicti,” said the writer, grinning and rubbing his hands.

    St. Ronan's Well

    Sir Walter Scott

  • Bear it mild an' asy, Vara, acushla, for I know it will take a start out of you.

    The Poor Scholar

    William Carleton

  • Come away, Vara, come away, or I'll not be able to part wid it.

    The Poor Scholar

    William Carleton

  • Now if you'd put that in your pamphlet it would have been vara jocose.

  • Vara said to herself, "Why does not Cleg think to speak to me like that?"

    Cleg Kelly, Arab of the City

    S. R. (Samuel Rutherford) Crockett

British Dictionary definitions for vara


  1. a unit of length used in Spain, Portugal, and South America and having different values in different localities, usually between 32 and 43 inches (about 80 to 108 centimetres)

Word Origin for vara

C17: via Spanish from Latin: wooden trestle, from 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