var·i·ous | \ ˈver-ē-əs \

Definition of various 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of an indefinite number greater than one stop at various towns

2 : individual, separate rate increases granted in the various states

3a : 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

Definition of various (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other words from various


variousness noun

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


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: Adjective

The commonwealth is aiming to do something about that, announcing $2 million in grants toward developing and implementing educator residency programs at various in-state colleges. Oona Goodin-smith,, "Families of Cosmo DiNardo murder victims speak out, Pa. to pay $2M to fight teacher shortage | Morning Newsletter," 13 July 2018 In the wake of the Feb. 14 school shootings in Parkland, Fla., students in Michigan and across the country have risen up to take action in various ways. Lori Higgins And Janea Wilson, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan student activists take on voter registration, gun violence," 12 July 2018 The various in-app prompts asking dockless scooter riders to wear helmets clearly isn’t working, but helmet laws have shown to deter riders from using certain modes altogether. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How cities should regulate the scooter surge," 11 July 2018 Four men were found guilty of supporting the group in various ways and sentenced to prison terms of between 2½ and 10 years. Frank Jordans,, "German suspect in neo-Nazi trial guilty of 10 killings, court finds," 11 July 2018 Here’s a quick rundown of the various ways that American workers are getting ripped off: American workers are more likely to be poor (by the standards of their nation). Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "New Study Confirms That American Workers Are Getting Ripped Off," 6 July 2018 Matt came in through various, like MTV and WNYC, and then swerved into business and got a business degree, and then worked at BCG. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Gimlet founders Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber on Recode Media," 27 June 2018 There have been many in Hollywood who have also worked extensively with organizations and nonprofits to help in various ways. Omar Sanchez, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Stars Who Are Helping Migrant Families at the U.S.-Mexico Border," 26 June 2018 And the BET Awards — and the various, colorfully dressed, still flat-and-tight-stomached young people who attend it — are cool. Danielle C. Belton, The Root, "The Root Is in LA for the BET Awards and Has No Idea of What to Wear," 23 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of various


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6

Pronoun, plural in construction

1877, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for various


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

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Phrases Related to various

many and various

Statistics for various

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for various

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

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More Definitions for various



English Language Learners Definition of various

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

: different from each other


var·i·ous | \ ˈver-ē-əs \

Kids Definition of various

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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Comments on various

What made you want to look up various? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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