• synonyms


[vair-ee-i-gey-tid, vair-i-gey-]
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  1. varied in appearance or color; marked with patches or spots of different colors.
  2. varied; diversified; diverse.
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Origin of variegated

First recorded in 1655–65; variegate + -ed2
Related formsun·var·i·e·gat·ed, adjective


[vair-ee-i-geyt, vair-i-geyt]
verb (used with object), var·i·e·gat·ed, var·i·e·gat·ing.
  1. to make varied in appearance, as by adding different colors.
  2. to give variety to; diversify.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for variegated


  1. displaying differently coloured spots, patches, streaks, etc
  2. (of foliage or flowers) having pale patches, usually as a result of mutation, infection, etc
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verb (tr)
  1. to alter the appearance of, esp by adding different colours
  2. to impart variety to
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Derived Formsvariegation, noun

Word Origin

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 variegated



"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper