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 Candies, chocolates and varieties of caramel corn are available for order from Campbell’s Sweet’s physical location in Ohio City and online. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "23 places in Greater Cleveland to get sweet treats for Mother’s Day," 6 May 2020 But in children, there appears to be somewhat less variety in critical cases. Anchorage Daily News, "Children are falling ill with a mysterious inflammatory syndrome thought linked to COVID-19," 6 May 2020 All these dishes work well with the standard Eureka or Lisbon varieties of lemons that are found across the United States. Washington Post, "Capture the sunny freshness of lemons with syrup, marmalade and preserves," 4 May 2020 The Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot from Merrell is a sturdy boot, available in varieties for both men and women in regular and wide widths, that is designed to keep your feet dry, no matter the weather or trail conditions. Madeline Diamond, Travel + Leisure, "These Top-rated Hiking Boots Are Comfortable, Durable, and Waterproof," 3 May 2020 During the pandemic, people all over the world have been dealing with new and hybrid varieties of boredom, loneliness, and anxiety. Caleb Madison, The Atlantic, "Introducing The Atlantic’s Sunday Crossword," 3 May 2020 The variety and specificity of these dispatches is delightful—there are appearances from katydids and coyotes, peaceful moments during storms, even an underwater recording from a canal in Ireland. Erin Berger, Outside Online, "Books and Podcasts to Fix Your Nature Deprivation," 1 May 2020 Individual varieties of antibodies had little effect, so the researchers tried mixing them. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Biologists invent a new way to fight viruses with llama blood and molecular super glue," 1 May 2020 Both varieties make their way into ocean currents and eventually into microplastic hot spots. Matt Simon, Wired, "'Microplastic Hot Spots' Are Tainting Deep-Sea Ecosystems," 30 Apr. 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

9 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Variety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 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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