adjective var·i·ous \ ˈver-ē-əs \
|Updated on: 13 Jul 2018

Definition of various

1 : of an indefinite number greater than one
  • stop at various towns
2 : individual, separate
  • rate increases granted in the various states
3 a : of differing kinds : multifarious
b : dissimilar in nature or form : unlike
4 : varicolored
  • birds of various plumage
5 : having a number of different aspects or characteristics
  • a various place
6 archaic : variable, inconstant



Examples of various in a Sentence

  1. He has lived in places as various as New York and Beijing.

  2. for their various and bizarrely shaped plumage, males of the bird of paradise species have few rivals

Recent Examples of various from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'various.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of various

Middle English, from Latin varius "having contrasting colors, of different kinds, changeable" (of uncertain origin) + Middle English -ous, -os -ous

Synonym Discussion of various

different, diverse, divergent, disparate, various mean unlike in kind or character. different may imply little more than separateness but it may also imply contrast or contrariness.
    • different foods
diverse implies both distinctness and marked contrast.
    • such diverse interests as dancing and football
divergent implies movement away from each other and unlikelihood of ultimate meeting or reconciliation.
    • went on to pursue divergent careers
disparate emphasizes incongruity or incompatibility.
    • disparate notions of freedom
various stresses the number of sorts or kinds.
    • tried various methods



pronoun, plural in construction

Definition of various

: an indefinite number of separate individuals greater than one
  • have read various of her essays

First Known Use of various


in the meaning defined above

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VARIOUS Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of various for English Language Learners

  • —used to refer to several different or many different things, people, etc.

  • : different from each other

VARIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective var·i·ous \ ˈver-ē-əs \

Definition of various for Students

1 : of different kinds
  • On the walls, repeated in various colors, hung several portraits of Queen Victoria …
  • —Mary Norton, The Borrowers
2 : different one from another : unlike
  • The projects are in various stages of completion.
3 : made up of an indefinite number greater than one
  • Various church groups called meetings.
  • —Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder

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one who attends or assists a leader

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