vary

verb
\ ˈver-ē How to pronounce vary (audio) \
varied; varying

Definition of vary

transitive verb

1 : to make a partial change in : make different in some attribute or characteristic
2 : to make differences between items in : diversify

intransitive verb

1 : to exhibit or undergo change the sky was constantly varying
3 : to take on successive values y varies inversely with x
4 : to exhibit divergence in structural or physiological characters from the typical form

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from vary

varyingly \ ˈver-​ē-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce varyingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for vary

Synonyms

contrast, differ

Antonyms

compare, match

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for vary

change, alter, vary, modify mean to make or become different. change implies making either an essential difference often amounting to a loss of original identity or a substitution of one thing for another. changed the shirt for a larger size alter implies a difference in some particular respect without suggesting loss of identity. slightly altered the original design vary stresses a breaking away from sameness, duplication, or exact repetition. vary your daily routine modify suggests a difference that limits, restricts, or adapts to a new purpose. modified the building for use by the disabled

Examples of vary in a Sentence

The terrain varies as you climb higher. The cost of a room at the hotel varies with the season. Their services vary depending on the customer. They've tried to improve their procedures, with varying degrees of success. The diamonds vary in size. Colors vary from light to dark. I try to vary my diet by eating different kinds of foods.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The moves have mirrored some of the measures recently taken in European capitals — though attitudes toward the scooters vary widely. Washington Post, "Electric scooters have arrived in Europe — and a lot of people there hate them too," 10 July 2019 Most other states have already passed various laws clarifying whether such bodycam footage is public, though the laws vary widely, according to the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Todd Wallack, BostonGlobe.com, "Bill would limit public access to police video in Massachusetts," 10 July 2019 Royal babies usually have around six godparents although the exact number can vary (George has seven and Charlotte has five). Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Chose Not Announce Archie's Godparents Publicly," 6 July 2019 The robots have raised the average picker’s productivity from around 100 items per hour to what Mr. Long and others have said is a target of around 300 or 400, though the numbers vary across teams and facilities. Noam Scheiber, New York Times, "Inside an Amazon Warehouse, Robots’ Ways Rub Off on Humans," 3 July 2019 People who pursue treatment for their infertility were never assured a baby in the first place; their chances were iffy, anyway, varying further depending on their age and health. Dov Fox, Vox, "The legal limbo of lost embryos," 3 July 2019 Although the total cost attendance at Rose-Hulman varies depending on a student's year in school and living arrangements, the yearly price tag ranges from $68,958 to $70,401 for the 2019-20 academic year. Casey Smith, Indianapolis Star, "Many Indiana colleges and universities are increasing tuition. Here's how much they cost.," 29 June 2019 Burkhardt says that considering contrails in such schemes would be difficult, however, because climate impact varies based on weather, location, and time of day. Katie Camero, Science | AAAS, "Aviation’s dirty secret: Airplane contrails are a surprisingly potent cause of global warming," 28 June 2019 The exact timing is tough to pinpoint, even varying within households depending on age and who earned more. Sarah Skidmore Sell, Cincinnati.com, "Study: Retirees lose by taking Social Security at wrong time," 28 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of vary

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for vary

Middle English varien, borrowed from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French varier, borrowed from Latin variāre "to mark with contrasting colors, give variety to, make changeable," derivative of varius "having contrasting colors, of different kinds, changeable," of uncertain origin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vary

Dictionary Entries near vary

varve

varvel

varvity

vary

varying hare

varying lemming

vas-

Statistics for vary

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vary

The first known use of vary was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vary

vary

verb

English Language Learners Definition of vary

: to be different or to become different
: to make (something) different : to make changes to (something) so that it is not always the same

vary

verb
\ ˈver-ē How to pronounce vary (audio) \
varied; varying

Kids Definition of vary

1 : to make a partial change in He varied the rhythm of the poem.
2 : to make or be of different kinds She varies her exercise routine.
3 : to show or undergo change The sky constantly varies.
4 : to differ from the usual members of a group
\ ˈver-ē, ˈvar-ē How to pronounce vary (audio) \
varied; varying

Medical Definition of vary

: to exhibit divergence in structural or physiological characters from the typical form

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on vary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vary

Spanish Central: Translation of vary

Nglish: Translation of vary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vary for Arabic Speakers

Comments on vary

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

WORD OF THE DAY

characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!