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vara

[vahr-uh; Spanish bah-rah; Portuguese vah-ruh]
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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.
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Origin of vara

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

Examples from the Web for varas

Historical Examples

  • Then Driscoll invested in a number of varas of calico print.

    The Missourian

    Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle

  • They're a hundred varas square--four times as big as the others.

    Port O' Gold

    Louis John Stellman

  • Night and day she worked on her cloth, and when it was finished she had eight varas.

    Philippine Folk Tales

    Mabel Cook Cole

  • Other pieces of common silk, ten varas for one tae three maçes.

  • These poles were measured and found to be about 13 varas long (roughly 35 ft.).


British Dictionary definitions for varas

vara

noun
  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)
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Word Origin

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