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

From bright lemon to deeper tones such as mustard, yellow is both versatile and a color that can be dressed up or down when staging and styling a space. Ap Mcclatchy, The Mercury News, "8 tips for brightening your home with yellow," 11 June 2019 For this reason, the Colonial style is extremely versatile, making it a popular choice for many Americans in search of their dream home. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Here’s Why Colonial-Style Homes Reign Supreme," 2 May 2019 But the matte black finish is meant to be versatile. Chris Welch, The Verge, "The new Sonos Amp is coming to save your old speakers," 29 Aug. 2018 Since then, researchers have found that CRISPR/Cas9 is ridiculously versatile. Brad Plumer, Vox, "A simple guide to CRISPR, one of the biggest science stories of the decade," 23 July 2018 Noodles & Company Who knew noodles were so versatile? Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "20+ Restaurants Open on Memorial Day That Your Family Will Love," 13 May 2019 Some from the late 1800s were so versatile that people also wore them for boating and tennis, according to the website Bestofbowling.com. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Spare no creativity: The humble rental bowling shoe is ready for a fashion makeover," 15 Mar. 2018 The Eagles are looking to seal a cut price deal for the versatile midfielder, as the Super Lig side struggle to balance the books. SI.com, "Crystal Palace Step Up Interest in Turkish Star as Eagles Look to Fend Off Interest From Fulham," 3 July 2018 The have to protect their biggest investment, Kirk Cousins, and Williams is versatile enough to play guard or tackle. Drew Davison And Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "Mock Draft 3.0: Cowboys coin flip of Calvin Ridley vs. Leighton Vander Esch? | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 20 Apr. 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

15 Jun 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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