versatile

adjective
ver·​sa·​tile | \ ˈvər-sə-tᵊl How to pronounce versatile (audio) , especially British -ˌtī(-ə)l How to pronounce versatile (audio) \

Definition of versatile

1 : embracing a variety of subjects, fields, or skills also : turning with ease from one thing to another
2 : having many uses or applications versatile building material
3 : changing or fluctuating readily : variable a versatile disposition
4a(1) : capable of turning forward or backward : reversible a versatile toe of a bird
(2) : capable of moving laterally and up and down versatile antennae
b of an anther : having the filaments attached at or near the middle so as to swing freely

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Other Words from versatile

versatilely \ ˈvər-​sə-​tᵊl-​(l)ē How to pronounce versatilely (audio) , -​ˌtī(-​ə)l-​lē \ adverb
versatileness \ ˈvər-​sə-​tᵊl-​nəs How to pronounce versatileness (audio) , -​ˌtī(-​ə)l-​nəs \ noun

Examples of versatile in a Sentence

Horses stand apart because of their versatile roles in human society, which came to include dairy production, transportation, haulage, plowing, sports, warfare, religion, and status. — Sandra L. Olsen, Natural History, May 2008 Linemen have to be nimble, corners physical and linebackers versatile. — Peter King, Sports Illustrated, 22 Dec. 2008 Adobos are the Philippines' most beloved, and most versatile, dishes. They consist of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables (such as okra and eggplant) slow-cooked in an aromatic broth of vinegar or coconut milk, garlic, black pepper, bay leaves, and, sometimes, soy sauce until virtually all the liquid has evaporated. — Amy Besa, Saveur, December 2008 This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to three scientists for their work on a versatile strategy for synthesizing all manner of novel chemical compounds in an environmentally friendly way.  … The three scientists focused on a reaction called metathesis … — A. Cunningham, Science News, 15 Oct. 2005 Within weeks [Gerd] Binnig, then 38 and with an infant daughter, worked with a colleague to build a prototype for what has become one of the most versatile scientific tools ever created: the atomic force microscope, or AFM. — Ivan Amato, Fortune, 14 June 2004 She is a versatile athlete who participates in many different sports. A pocketknife is a versatile tool.
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Recent Examples on the Web

For summer, brands like Lisa Marie Fernandez have bumped up their metallic bikini and one-piece offerings, releasing colors like black (a more versatile option than purple) and classic gold and silver. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "The Swimwear Trends of 2019 to Try This Summer, From Animal Prints to Metallics," 9 Apr. 2019 Actually, maybe, the computer’s a lot more versatile. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Casey Newton and Louie Swisher on the 300th episode of Recode Decode," 2 Dec. 2018 The talent is there, starting with the versatile, cerebral and relentless Modrić, who’s been a massive part of Real Madrid’s three consecutive European titles. Brian Straus, SI.com, "France vs. Croatia: A First Look at Their World Cup Final Matchup," 11 July 2018 Chickpeas are extremely versatile, gluten-free, and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Blake Bakkila, Health.com, "You’d Never Guess This Chickpea Cookie Dough Is Healthy," 21 June 2018 In fact, the all-in-one approach is so versatile, Bachik has been known to change Lopez's nail style 3 or 4 times in one day, or sometimes during one awards show, to match her multiple outfit changes. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The 5-Minute Manicure That Counts Fans From Jennifer Lopez to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez," 29 Mar. 2019 But despite its being so versatile, choosing the right denim for you is a personal experience. Glamour, "The Best 10 Pairs of Jeans Ever, According to Our Editors," 18 Mar. 2019 This grill and smoker is versatile enough to also bake, roast, braise and barbecue on. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "5 Best Pellet Grills to Buy in 2019, According to Kitchen Appliance and Tech Experts," 27 Feb. 2019 Being a versatile athlete helps Grotjohn master new positions and be prepared to change at a moment’s notice. Paul Johnson, Naperville Sun, "Javier Baez, Ian Happ, Ben Zobrist ... and Ryan Grotjohn: Cougars getting good use out of everyday utility player," 7 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'versatile.' 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 versatile

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for versatile

borrowed from Latin versātilis "able to turn, operated by turning, capable of turning to different tasks," from versāre "to keep turning" (frequentative of vertere "to turn") + -tilis, suffix with the sense "characterized by, obtained by" — more at worth entry 1

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Statistics for versatile

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for versatile

The first known use of versatile was in 1605

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More Definitions for versatile

versatile

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of versatile

: able to do many different things
: having many different uses

versatile

adjective
ver·​sa·​tile | \ ˈvər-sə-tᵊl How to pronounce versatile (audio) \

Kids Definition of versatile

1 : able to do many different kinds of things
2 : having many uses a versatile tool

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Comments on versatile

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