[ vur-suh-tl or, especially British, -tahyl ]
/ ˈvɜr sə tl or, especially British, -ˌtaɪl /
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See synonyms for: versatile / versatileness / versatility on Thesaurus.com


capable of or adapted for turning easily from one to another of various tasks, fields of endeavor, etc.: a versatile writer.
having or capable of many uses: a versatile tool.
Botany. attached at or near the middle so as to swing freely, as an anther.
Zoology. turning either forward or backward: a versatile toe.
variable or changeable, as in feeling, purpose, or policy: versatile moods.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of versatile

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin versātilis “revolving, many-sided,” equivalent to versāt(us) (past participle of versāre, frequentative of vertere “to turn”; see verse, -ate1) + -ilis adjective suffix (see -ile)


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for versatile

British Dictionary definitions for versatile

/ (ˈvɜːsəˌtaɪl) /


capable of or adapted for many different uses, skills, etc
variable or changeable
botany (of an anther) attached to the filament by a small area so that it moves freely in the wind
zoology able to turn forwards and backwardsversatile antennae

Derived forms of versatile

versatilely, adverbversatility (ˌvɜːsəˈtɪlɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for versatile

C17: from Latin versātilis moving around, from versāre to turn
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