[ vuh-rahy-i-tee ]
See synonyms for: varietyvarieties on

noun,plural va·ri·e·ties.
  1. the state of being varied or diversified: to give variety to a diet.

  2. a number of different types of things, especially ones in the same general category: A variety of tropical plants dominate the hotel porch.The variety of baked goods is impressive.

  1. a kind or sort: This variety of yogurt is especially dense because it has very little whey.

  2. a particular form, condition, or phase of something: Artistic pursuits of every variety are represented here.

  3. a category within a species, based on some hereditary difference.

  4. a type of animal or plant produced by artificial selection.

  5. Philately. a stamp differing from others of the same issue through an accident other than an error of an artist or printer.: Compare error (def. 8), freak1 (def. 5).

  6. Older Use. difference; discrepancy.

  7. Also called variety show . entertainment of mixed character, consisting of a number of individual performances or acts, as of singing, dancing, or skits.: Compare vaudeville (def. 1).

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a variety: a variety store;variety performers.

Origin of variety

First recorded in 1525–35; from Latin varietās, equivalent to vari(us) various + -etās, variant of -itās -ity after a vowel

usage note For variety

2. As a collective noun, variety, when preceded by a, is often treated as a plural: A variety of inexpensive goods are sold here. When preceded by the, it is usually treated as a singular: The variety of products is small. See also collective noun.

Other words for variety

Opposites for variety

Other words from variety

  • non·va·ri·e·ty, noun, plural non·va·ri·e·ties.
  • o·ver·va·ri·e·ty, noun
  • sub·va·ri·e·ty, noun, plural sub·va·ri·e·ties. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use variety in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for variety


/ (vəˈraɪɪtɪ) /

nounplural -ties
  1. the quality or condition of being diversified or various

  2. a collection of unlike things, esp of the same general group; assortment

  1. a different form or kind within a general category; sort: varieties of behaviour

    • taxonomy a race whose distinct characters are insufficient to justify classification as a separate species; a subspecies

    • horticulture stockbreeding a strain of animal or plant produced by artificial breeding

    • entertainment consisting of a series of short unrelated performances or acts, such as comedy turns, songs, dances, sketches, etc

    • (as modifier): a variety show

Origin of variety

C16: from Latin varietās, from various

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