- to change or alter, as in form, appearance, character, or substance: to vary one's methods.
- to cause to be different from something else: The orchestra varied last night's program with one new selection.
- to avoid or relieve from uniformity or monotony; diversify: to vary one's diet.
- Music. to alter (a melody or theme) by modification or embellishments without changing its identity.
- to show diversity; be different: The age at which children are ready to read varies.
- to undergo change in appearance, form, substance, character, etc.: The landscape begins to vary as one drives south.
- to change periodically or in succession; differ or alternate: Demand for certain products varies with the season.
- to diverge; depart; deviate (usually followed by from): to vary from the norm.
- Mathematics. to be subject to change.
- Biology. to exhibit variation.
Origin of vary
SynonymsSee more synonyms for vary on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for varying
About half of these are preschool students with varying levels of special needs.Magical Gardens for the Blind, Deaf, and Disabled
October 22, 2014
All models favor Republicans to varying degrees, but the world changes fast.What the GOP Will Do If It Wins Congress
October 3, 2014
In our new series, The Collectors Project, we will profile these fascinating individuals of varying passions.Pryor Dodge's Two-Wheeled Obsession Is Now a Museum of Bike History
September 15, 2014
To varying degrees, the foundations of your background can help or harm you.We're Talking About Depression All Wrong
August 20, 2014
Petit walks the wire back and forth four times, varying the walks with little routines from time to time.Philippe Petit’s Moment of Concern Walking the WTC Tightrope
August 8, 2014
She was back again in an instant, however, in another of her varying moods.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
There are all the varying fortunes of butter-making recorded.
Her yard is a varying pageant of plants in all stages of misfortune.
Thousands upon thousands do it, according to their varying manner, every day.Little Dorrit
She cut four of varying lengths and dropped them into an empty cracker-box.Four Girls and a Compact
Annie Hamilton Donnell
- to undergo or cause to undergo change, alteration, or modification in appearance, character, form, attribute, etc
- to be different or cause to be different; be subject to change
- (tr) to give variety to
- (intr foll by from) to differ, as from a convention, standard, etc
- (intr) to change in accordance with another variableher mood varies with the weather; pressure varies directly with temperature and inversely with volume
- (tr) music to modify (a theme) by the use of variation
Word Origin and History for varying
mid-14c. (transitive); late 14c. (intransitive), from Old French varier, from Latin variare "change, alter, make different," from varius "varied, different, spotted;" perhaps related to varus "bent, crooked, knock-kneed," and varix "varicose vein," from a PIE root *wer- (1) "high raised spot or other bodily infirmity" (cf. Old English wearte "wart," Swedish varbulde "pus swelling," Latin verruca "wart"). Related: Varied; varying.
- To make or cause changes in the characteristics or attributes of; modify or alter.
- To undergo or show change.
- To be different; deviate.