va·ri·e·ty | \ və-ˈrī-ə-tē \
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

Viacom and Hulu announced a deal on Monday that would make Hulu the exclusive streaming home for the original MTV animated show Daria, along with a variety of other Viacom properties. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "Hulu Is the Exclusive Streaming Home for 'Daria' and Other Viacom Properties," 25 June 2018 Ethyl had a variety of occupations during her life including labor and delivery nurse and bookkeeper, but none so dear to her as her most cherished role of mother and grandmother., "Deaths in Central Florida: 7/5," 5 July 2018 The Department has a wide variety of programs this summer that range from classes for preschool, youth, teen and adults, special events, swim lessons, open swim, sports camps, drop in programs and more. Courant Community, "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 2 July 2018 The corridor already has a variety of restaurants, bars, a theater, a recreation center and grocery store, as well as Clark Park, several Mexican restaurants and the West Riverfront Park. Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit seeking developer for housing development near train station," 28 June 2018 Because Main Street is the city’s center of tourism, police have a wide variety of safety concerns in the area, ranging from violent crime to reminding people that skateboarding is prohibited in the business district. Priscella Vega,, "Downtown Huntington Beach to get extra security for 4-month pilot program," 28 June 2018 Many area attractions have a variety of educational (but fun!) opportunities for children and tend to bump up their offerings come summer. Zafreen Jaffery, Ed.d., miamiherald, "Bake cookies. Head to the library. Ways to keep your child's brain sharp during the summer," 27 June 2018 Investors generally don’t like REITs to have a variety of property types. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "Disney, American Campus in Talks on Housing for Mickey and Donald Trainees," 26 June 2018 JW Marriott Desert Ridge Special events: The state's largest resort, in northeast Phoenix, has a variety of activities scheduled between June 30 and July 8. Dawn Gilbertson, azcentral, "Last-minute Fourth of July hotel deals in Phoenix, Scottsdale," 22 June 2018

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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Phrases Related to variety

variety is the spice of life

Statistics for variety

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for variety

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

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More Definitions for variety



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 \
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 \
plural varieties

Medical Definition of variety 

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

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Comments on variety

What made you want to look up variety? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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