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var·​i·​ous ˈver-ē-əs How to pronounce various (audio)
: of an indefinite number greater than one
stop at various towns
: individual, separate
rate increases granted in the various states
: of differing kinds : multifarious
: dissimilar in nature or form : unlike
: varicolored
birds of various plumage
: having a number of different aspects or characteristics
a various place
archaic : variable, inconstant
variousness noun


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plural in construction
: an indefinite number of separate individuals greater than one
have read various of her essays
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of various in a Sentence

Adjective He has lived in places as various as New York and Beijing. for their various and bizarrely shaped plumage, males of the bird of paradise species have few rivals
Recent Examples on the Web
The ability to simulate and optimize various scenarios before implementation provides a powerful tool for city planners. Abdo Riani, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 The cedars were used by loggers for various materials, including homes, for decades, and replenishing them became a problem as sea level has risen 4 inches in the last 30 years and crept into the soil, according to experts. Ginger Zee, ABC News, 29 Nov. 2023 People Before Profit's Gerry Carroll, whose social media profile contains various images showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement, condemned the incident in a statement. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 29 Nov. 2023 Mike Chester, who oversees promotion and streaming/commerce at Warner, championed the track from the start and helped propel it to the top of various cross-genre charts including rock, folk and alternative. Steven J. Horowitz, Variety, 29 Nov. 2023 Malaria is endemic in Nigeria and infections pose various risks during pregnancy, such as premature labour and miscarriage, and folic acid is recommended for those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, to reduce the risk of certain birth defects. Adie Vanessa Offiong, CNN, 29 Nov. 2023 Yet what really brings us into her world is a studio space arranged with material samples that reveal various states of workmanship: gorgeous geometric embroideries, quill-like embellishments, fabrics painstakingly painted like butterfly wings, striated volumes, a delicate crystalline lattice. Amy Verner, Vogue, 29 Nov. 2023 Hayden Christensen, who has played Anakin Skywalker in various Star Wars movies and series, has signed with Independent Artist Group for representation. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Nov. 2023 Separately, OpenAI is facing various legal challenges. Todd Spangler, Variety, 17 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'various.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6


1877, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of various was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near various

Cite this Entry

“Various.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: of different kinds
: different one from another : unlike
animals as various as cat and mouse
: having many different characteristics
spring is a various season
: made up of an indefinite number greater than one
stopped at various places along the way
variously adverb
variousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on various

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