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

The availability of insurance is influenced by a variety of factors, including economic conditions, because most insured U.S. residents get their health plans through an employer. Amy Goldstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Share of Americans without health insurance increases, Census Bureau reports," 10 Sep. 2019 Since the first column ran, a number of readers have recommended a variety of remedies to help cope with stress and sleep deprivation, from acupuncture and yoga to edible cannabis. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Kicking a dependence on prescription drugs can be very hard. Here’s how I’m doing it," 10 Sep. 2019 The models showcased a variety of fashions, including designs from Yeroc by Corey Woods, Gatito Sucio by Lorenzo Peña, Kid’s Dream by Chewy Jang and the Brazilian designer Marisa Oliveira. NBC News, "This 'arts movement' served looks and broke barriers at N.Y. Fashion Week," 10 Sep. 2019 To do this, materials scientist Tom Russell and his colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have modified a 3D printer to make a variety of all-liquid structures. Wired, "Unusual Fluids Flip, Twirl, and Redefine How Liquids Work," 9 Sep. 2019 Inspired by a vast variety of college students, Hunte focused on the accessibility of a college look. Nandi Howard, Essence, "NYFW: Romeo Hunte Spring/Summer 2020 Was An Integration Of Business Attire And Streetwear," 9 Sep. 2019 The additional resources help support a variety of general election infrastructure efforts. Aaron Navarro, CBS News, "Texas Democrats unveil plan to flip the state from red to blue in 2020," 9 Sep. 2019 More than 200 students will perform a variety of choral works. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area calendar of events," 9 Sep. 2019 Once again the crowd migrated to the pavilion where several Lakewood churches offered a variety of ethnic foods, goodies and beverages for sale. Carol Kovach,, "Lakewood Community Festival draws big crowd to Madison Park," 9 Sep. 2019

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

13 Sep 2019

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 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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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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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