var·​ie·​gat·​ed | \ ˈver-ē-ə-ˌgā-təd How to pronounce variegated (audio) , ˈver-i-ˌgā-\

Definition of variegated

1 : having discrete markings of different colors variegated leaves

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The Colorful History of Variegated

Variegated has been adding color to our language since the 17th century. It is used in botany to describe the presence of two or more colors in the leaves, petals, or other parts of plants, and it also appears in the names of some animals (such as the variegated cutworm). It can be used by the general speaker to refer to anything marked with different colors ("a variegated silk robe," for instance) or to things that are simply various and diverse ("a variegated collection"). Variegated has a variety of relatives in English—it is ultimately derived from the Latin root varius, meaning "varied," which also gave us vary, various, and variety.

Examples of variegated in a Sentence

the variegated costumes of the dancers in the nightclub a variety of variegated tulip that is highly prized by gardeners

Recent Examples on the Web

This is in any case an extremely assorted collection, as befits a crew of variegated weirdos, each with a diagram pulsating above his or her head. Luc Sante, Harper's magazine, "A Crew of Variegated Weirdos," 10 Jan. 2019 This plant has glossy, variegated foliage with lime edges that become golden in late summer. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "20 Best Boxwood Shrubs to Plant in Your Garden," 14 Feb. 2019 His subjects become more variegated and splotchy, sometimes bordering on the abstract, with the notable exception of many of his astonishingly varied—and little-known—landscapes, a rich selection of which are on display here. A.j. Goldmann, WSJ, "‘Oskar Kokoschka—Expressionist, Migrant, European. A Retrospective’ Review: Longevity as Blessing and Curse," 2 Jan. 2019 Many have fuzzy, variegated leaves in colors ranging from light pink to dark purple and yellow to dark green. Collier Sutter, House Beautiful, "The One Plant You Need In Your Home This Fall," 1 Oct. 2018 In cooler areas, combine white-flowered H. plantaginea with variegated Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Cabaret'), garden phlox, and other perennials in borders protected from the hottest afternoon sun. Kris Wetherbee, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow the Most Stunning Hostas," 7 Aug. 2018 The sound of the ensemble itself, its very personality, bound the movements together even as the variegated compositional styles flickered by. Peter Dobrin,, "The Crossing choir premieres vivid new Kile Smith work," 1 July 2018 In cooler areas, combine white-flowered H. plantaginea with variegated Japanese silver grass (Miscanthussinensis 'Caberet'), garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), and other perennials in borders protected from the hottest afternoon sun. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow The Most Stunning Hostas," 16 May 2017 The sunlight, passing through it, became variegated and dazzling, dancing, enchanting. Lu Yang, The New Yorker, "Silver Tiger," 4 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'variegated.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of variegated

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for variegated

from past participle of variegate

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Statistics for variegated

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for variegated

The first known use of variegated was in 1615

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More Definitions for variegated



English Language Learners Definition of variegated

: having patches, stripes, or marks of different colors
formal : including many different things : full of variety


var·​ie·​gat·​ed | \ ˈver-ē-ə-ˌgā-təd, ˈver-i-ˌgā-\

Kids Definition of variegated

1 : having patches, stripes, or marks of different colors variegated leaves
2 : full of variety

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