va·​ri·​e·​ty | \ və-ˈrī-ə-tē How to pronounce variety (audio) \
plural varieties

Definition of variety

1 : the quality or state of having different forms or types : multifariousness
2 : a number or collection of different things especially of a particular class : assortment
3a : something differing from others of the same general kind : sort
b : any of various groups of plants or animals ranking below a species : subspecies

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Examples of variety in a Sentence

I was surprised by the variety of the choices that were available. My life needs more variety.
Recent Examples on the Web In addition to the Survivor Corps/Indiana University surveys, a variety of studies on COVID-19 survivors are underway around the country. Barbara Brody,, "'Post-COVID Syndrome' Is Causing Lingering Symptoms in Some Coronavirus Survivors—Here's What to Know," 9 Sep. 2020 This program enables seniors to virtually participate in a variety of Occupational Therapy activities, such as exercise, nutrition, and mindful exercises., "Community news for the Enfield edition," 4 Sep. 2020 None entail wrestling panels goopy with wallpaper paste; the most common variety is self-adhesive peel-and-stick. Gemma Price, WSJ, "Is Removable Wallpaper Ideal If You’re Indecisive About Design?," 3 Sep. 2020 The Italian variety is the primary grape used in making chianti. Georgann Yara, The Arizona Republic, "Want to sound like an Arizona wine expert? Here are 10 grape varietals you need to know," 1 Sep. 2020 Sometimes one variety will be more vigorous than the other and take over. Janet B. Carson, Arkansas Online, "IN THE GARDEN: Aster Yellows disease," 15 Aug. 2020 From striptease acts to musical residencies to variety shows, entertainment in the city has gone dark. Tara John, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Friday, August 14," 14 Aug. 2020 This variety is good for fresh eating, pies and sauces. Jim Gilbert, Star Tribune, "Examples of apple creations are deeply rooted in Minnesota," 13 Aug. 2020 From wood sage and sea salt to basil lime and mandarin, a variety of the perfume brand's scents (in both cologne and hand wash) are available at a discount during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Amanda Tarlton, USA TODAY, "10 things Meghan Markle loves to shop at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale," 10 Aug. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for variety

borrowed from Middle French or Latin; Middle French varieté, borrowed from Latin varietāt-, varietās, from varius "having contrasting colors, various entry 1" + -etāt- -etās, variant of -itās -ity

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Time Traveler for variety

Time Traveler

The first known use of variety was in the 15th century

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Statistics for variety

Last Updated

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Variety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for variety


How to pronounce variety (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of variety

: a number or collection of different things or people
: the quality or state of having or including many different things
: a particular kind of person or thing


va·​ri·​ety | \ və-ˈrī-ə-tē How to pronounce variety (audio) \
plural varieties

Kids Definition of variety

1 : a collection of different things This store sells a variety of items.
2 : the quality or state of having different forms or types My diet lacks variety.
3 : something (as a plant or animal) that differs from others of the same general kind or of the group to which it belongs a variety of tulip
4 : entertainment made up of performances (as dances and songs) that follow one another and are not related


va·​ri·​e·​ty | \ və-ˈrī-ət-ē How to pronounce variety (audio) \
plural varieties

Medical Definition of variety

: any of various groups of plants or animals ranking below a species : subspecies

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