mul·​ti·​far·​i·​ous ˌməl-tə-ˈfer-ē-əs How to pronounce multifarious (audio)
: having or occurring in great variety : diverse
participated in multifarious activities in high school
multifariousness noun

Did you know?

Before the late 16th-century appearance of multifarious, there was another word similar in form and meaning being used: multifary, meaning "in many ways," appeared—and disappeared—in the 15th century. Before either of the English words existed, there was the Medieval Latin word multifarius, from Latin multifariam, meaning "in many places" or "on many sides." Multi-, as you may know, is a combining form meaning "many." A relative of multifarious in English is omnifarious ("of all varieties, forms, or kinds"), created with omni- ("all") rather than multi-.

Examples of multifarious in a Sentence

the multifarious interests and activities in which Benjamin Franklin immersed himself
Recent Examples on the Web Released in 1956, the half-hour film exposed an international audience to photographic evidence of the multifarious horrors of the camps. TIME, 8 May 2024 Voters’ views tend to be multifarious and vary by age group. Ross Barkan, New York Times, 7 Feb. 2024 In the age of Instagram, Jane Birkin’s personal style often eclipsed her multifarious talents. Faye Fearon, Vogue, 17 Dec. 2023 Over the course of his multifarious career, Metheny has led numerous bands, more than a few of whose members later became band leaders in their own right. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Oct. 2023 With a substantial majority wanting more relatable content on noteworthy friendships and platonic relationships, there is a palpable need for multifarious narratives that image their own experiences. Ximena Araya-Fischel, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Even with the expectation that Story may face some bumps in trying to regain his timing, the Sox see anticipate a multifarious upgrade. Alex Speier,, 7 Aug. 2023 But the dispassionate big box store, the faceless online retailer that copy/pastes all your content and gives back nothing to the community, the multifarious country store that shoves a few of your products in the back corner for travelers who forget something at home? Outside Online, 12 July 2017 The cost of living in California is exorbitant, and so is campaigning for major office in this far-flung, multifarious state. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 27 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'multifarious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Medieval Latin multifarius, from Latin multifariam in many places

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of multifarious was in 1593


Dictionary Entries Near multifarious

Cite this Entry

“Multifarious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


mul·​ti·​far·​i·​ous ˌməl-tə-ˈfar-ē-əs How to pronounce multifarious (audio)
: of many and various kinds
the multifarious sounds of the city

Legal Definition


mul·​ti·​far·​i·​ous ˌməl-ti-ˈfar-ē-əs How to pronounce multifarious (audio)
: having or occurring in great variety : diverse
also : uniting usually in an improper way distinct and independent matters, subjects, or causes
point one is multifarious, and we must break it down for analysis: a) the alleged reformation of the decree; and b) the order that appellant pay Spradley v. Hutchison, 787 S.W.2d 214 (1990)
compare misjoinder
multifariousness noun

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