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

To combat that, a variety of organizations are stepping in to help LGBT youth, particularly those who lack health insurance or support from their parents. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Arizona groups offer health, housing help to LGBT youth," 14 July 2018 Raffle Room Coordinator Allison Kullenberg said the convention attracts a variety of people. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Valley of the dolls: Barbie collectors hit Phoenix resort scene for 2018 convention," 13 July 2018 As for food, Mester has been developing pates, fish entrees, soups and salads along with other signature French dishes, although the menu will reflect a variety of cultures. Anna Muckerman,, "European-style cafe and wine bar coming to Station North," 13 July 2018 The files will include plans to make a variety of firearms using 3-D printers, including for AR-15-style rifles, which have been used in several mass shootings. New York Times, "‘Downloadable Gun’ Clears a Legal Obstacle, and Activists Are Alarmed," 13 July 2018 As with music, publishers are learning that controlling the platform can be more lucrative than owning the content — a shift that has underwritten a variety of publisher experiments with open or hybrid access models. Joe Karaganis, Washington Post, "Russia is building a new Napster — but for academic research," 13 July 2018 Yusim described the importance of a JCC offering a variety of activities such as the drone camp. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Drone camp added to programming at Miami Beach JCC," 13 July 2018 The company, which builds under a variety of brands, aims to deliver the initial lots in the new Waller community by January 2020 and start building soon after. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Wolff Cos. bets on the U.S. 290 for its next development," 13 July 2018 The new Smart911 system launched Thursday will allow residents to register a variety of information with the city's 911 center, including emergency contacts, medical information and car data. Fox News, "City launches Smart911 system in response to teen's death," 13 July 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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Statistics for variety

Last Updated

8 Nov 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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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