[ vair-ee-i-geyt, vair-i-geyt ]
/ ˈvɛər i ɪˌgeɪt, ˈvɛər ɪˌgeɪt /

verb (used with object), var·i·e·gat·ed, var·i·e·gat·ing.

to make varied in appearance, as by adding different colors.
to give variety to; diversify.

Nearby words

  1. varicula,
  2. varicule,
  3. varied,
  4. varied thrush,
  5. variedly,
  6. variegate porphyria,
  7. variegated,
  8. variegation,
  9. varier,
  10. varietal

Origin of variegate

1645–55; < Late Latin variegātus (past participle of variegāre to make (something) look varied), equivalent to Latin vari(us) various + -eg- (combining form of agere to do; see agent) + -ātus -ate1

Related formsvar·i·e·ga·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for variegate

  • Possibly the purple patches of relaxation which variegate the lives of the inmates are too few and too far between.

    The Vagrancy Problem.|William Harbutt Dawson
  • Their clothes they variegate by steeping them in dyes, which produce a colour not easily effaced.

  • The Ashburners and Sedgwicks continue your tradition and even ornament or variegate it with their own original force.

British Dictionary definitions for variegate


/ (ˈvɛərɪˌɡeɪt) /

verb (tr)

to alter the appearance of, esp by adding different colours
to impart variety to
Derived Formsvariegation, noun

Word Origin for variegate

C17: from Late Latin variegāre, from Latin varius diverse, various + agere to make

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 variegate



"to mark with different colors," 1640s (implied in variegation), from Late Latin variegatus "made of various sorts or colors," past participle of variegare "diversify with different colors," from varius "spotted, changing, varying" (see vary) + root of agere "to drive" (see act). Related: Variegated; vareiegating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper