\ ˈver-ē How to pronounce vary (audio) \
varied; varying

Definition of vary

transitive verb

1 : to make a partial change in : make different in some attribute or characteristic
2 : to make differences between items in : diversify

intransitive verb

1 : to exhibit or undergo change the sky was constantly varying
3 : to take on successive values y varies inversely with x
4 : to exhibit divergence in structural or physiological characters from the typical form

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Other Words from vary

varyingly \ ˈver-​ē-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce vary (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for vary



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Choose the Right Synonym for vary

change, alter, vary, modify mean to make or become different. change implies making either an essential difference often amounting to a loss of original identity or a substitution of one thing for another. changed the shirt for a larger size alter implies a difference in some particular respect without suggesting loss of identity. slightly altered the original design vary stresses a breaking away from sameness, duplication, or exact repetition. vary your daily routine modify suggests a difference that limits, restricts, or adapts to a new purpose. modified the building for use by the disabled

Examples of vary in a Sentence

The terrain varies as you climb higher. The cost of a room at the hotel varies with the season. Their services vary depending on the customer. They've tried to improve their procedures, with varying degrees of success. The diamonds vary in size. Colors vary from light to dark. I try to vary my diet by eating different kinds of foods.
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Recent Examples on the Web What’s healthy for pregnant people or athletes or people with diabetes or lactose intolerance—that all might vary from person to person. Carolyn Kylstra, SELF, "Our Definition of Wellness Is Way Too Narrow. It’s Time to Change That.," 5 Jan. 2021 The situation can vary widely from country to country. Author: Kathy Gannon, Andrew Meldrum And Lee Keath, Anchorage Daily News, "Wars, instability pose vaccine challenges in poor nations," 28 Dec. 2020 But does the speed of metabolism really vary all that much from person to person? Terezie Tolar-peterson, The Conversation, "Whether slow or fast, here’s how your metabolism influences how many calories you burn each day," 28 Dec. 2020 Acme: Acme is typically open on Christmas Day; however, hours may vary depending on location. Juliana Labianca, Good Housekeeping, "Is Walgreens Open on Christmas 2020? Everything You Need to Know About the Store's Holiday Hours," 25 Dec. 2020 Hours can vary by location and are listed on the store locator at Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Target announces Christmas Eve ordering deadline for pickup and same-day delivery services," 18 Dec. 2020 Some hours may vary based on location so check ahead to confirm. Leada Gore |, al, "Black Friday 2020 hours: Store hours for Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy, more," 26 Nov. 2020 Hours vary on Sunday and Monday; all locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, "In-person voting begins as mail ballots pour in for an election like no other," 31 Oct. 2020 Hours of operation vary at clerk's offices across metro Detroit. Cam Rodriguez, Detroit Free Press, "Early voting: Here are the clerks' office hours for metro Detroit's largest cities," 28 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vary.' 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 vary

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for vary

Middle English varien, borrowed from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French varier, borrowed from Latin variāre "to mark with contrasting colors, give variety to, make changeable," derivative of varius "having contrasting colors, of different kinds, changeable," of uncertain origin

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Time Traveler for vary

Time Traveler

The first known use of vary was in the 14th century

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Statistics for vary

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for vary


How to pronounce vary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vary

: to be different or to become different
: to make (something) different : to make changes to (something) so that it is not always the same


\ ˈver-ē How to pronounce vary (audio) \
varied; varying

Kids Definition of vary

1 : to make a partial change in He varied the rhythm of the poem.
2 : to make or be of different kinds She varies her exercise routine.
3 : to show or undergo change The sky constantly varies.
4 : to differ from the usual members of a group
\ ˈver-ē, ˈvar-ē How to pronounce vary (audio) \
varied; varying

Medical Definition of vary

: to exhibit divergence in structural or physiological characters from the typical form

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