very

adverb

Definition of very 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to a high degree : exceedingly very hot didn't hurt very much

2 : in actual fact : truly the very best store in town told the very same story

very

adjective
\ˈver-ē, ˈve-rē\
verier; veriest

Definition of very (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : exact, precise the very heart of the city

b : exactly suitable or necessary the very thing for the purpose

2a : unqualified, sheer the very shame of it

b : absolute, utter the veriest fool alive

3 used as an intensive especially to emphasize identity before my very eyes

4 : mere, bare the very thought terrified him

5 : being the same one : selfsame the very man I saw

6 : special, particular the very essence of truth is plainness and brightness— John Milton

7a : properly entitled to the name or designation : true the fierce hatred of a very woman— J. M. Barrie

b : actual, real the very blood and bone of our grammar— H. L. Smith †1972

c : simple, plain in very truth

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Choose the Right Synonym for very

Adjective

same, selfsame, very, identical, equivalent, equal mean not different or not differing from one another. same may imply and selfsame always implies that the things under consideration are one thing and not two or more things. took the same route derived from the selfsame source very, like selfsame, may imply identity, or, like same may imply likeness in kind. the very point I was trying to make identical may imply selfsameness or suggest absolute agreement in all details. identical results equivalent implies amounting to the same thing in worth or significance. two houses equivalent in market value equal implies being identical in value, magnitude, or some specified quality. equal shares in the business

Examples of very in a Sentence

Adverb

that was a very brave thing to do the very same thing happened to me

Adjective

we stayed in the very hotel my parents stayed in for their honeymoon the very thought of having to go through that again is scary
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

In a slack market, the new rich people don’t impact rents very much but their presence creates new working-class job opportunities. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The tragedy of Amazon’s HQ2 selections, explained," 9 Nov. 2018 So very much has happened since the couple tied the knot in Windsor on May 19. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Prince Harry Reveals How He Asked Prince Charles to Walk Meghan Markle Down the Aisle," 8 Nov. 2018 Shake-ups Lots of industry movement this week, some willing and some very much not. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Alan Wake is back on sale after a 17 month absence, Layers of Fear 2 announced," 26 Oct. 2018 Sila engineered its micron-scale particles so that the swelling happens inside the particle structure, with very little external change. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Your Gadgets' Battery Life Could Be About to Get Much Better," 19 Oct. 2018 But as the physics community itself, internally, Stephen was a very powerful binding force in that community. Sarah Lewin, Space.com, "Stephen Hawking's Children and Colleagues Discuss Physicist's Final Book, Legacy," 17 Oct. 2018 And that person remains very much a mystery, which makes those kids even hazier. Horacio Salinas, Allure, "The Rise of Egg Freezing as a Fertility Choice," 15 Oct. 2018 And, as the show’s creators make very clear, the scars on her body are nothing compared to the scars on her psyche. Anna Silman, The Cut, "Sharp Objects," 11 July 2018 Being able to bring talent in and out for a project that may touch many countries is very important. Ilene Bassler, Houston Chronicle, "Q&A: Strict immigration policies ripple through talent pool," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Across the country, cities and towns at the very center of that path — known as the centerline — are either expecting or hoping to attract a crush of sky-viewing humanity. Eric Adler, kansascity, "Wondering where to view the Aug. 21 eclipse? Here are some options," 17 July 2017 To start the humor in this film was very fitting to the character of Peter Parker and seemed like a comedy blended with an action packed adventure even from the very beginning of the film. Teenlink, "'Spider-Man Homecoming' is everything a Spider-Man Movie Should Be," 7 July 2017 From a little spy-cam action that catches her at the very end of the show. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Celine Dion Is the Most Enthusiastic Celebrity at Paris Couture," 4 July 2017 Right now at this very moment in time the truth is that there is no reliable way to fix this problem. Scott Helme, Ars Technica, "HTTPS Certificate Revocation is broken, and it’s time for some new tools," 3 July 2017 Yet many of the very elements that make beer a tasty addition to a fish or meat dish can do the same for vegetarian proteins like beans or tofu. Zak Stambor, chicagotribune.com, "Vegetarian dishes leave you wanting more? Beer is the flavor you're missing," 3 July 2017

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

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7a

History and Etymology for very

Adjective

Middle English verray, verry, from Anglo-French verai, from Vulgar Latin *veracus, alteration of Latin verac-, verax truthful, from verus true; akin to Old English wǣr true, Old High German wāra trust, care, Greek ēra (accusative) favor

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More Definitions for very

very

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of very

 (Entry 1 of 2)

—used to emphasize that you are talking about one specific thing or part and not another

: not having anything added or extra

—used to emphasize that something belongs to or is part of a particular person or thing

very

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of very (Entry 2 of 2)

: to a great degree

—used to emphasize the exactness of a description

very

adverb
\ˈver-ē \

Kids Definition of very

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to a great degree : extremely It was very hot.

2 : in actual fact : truly That's the very best chocolate you can buy.

very

adjective

Kids Definition of very (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exact entry 1, precise David … likes to go to the very top of that hill …— Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Shiloh

2 : exactly suitable or necessary That's the very tool for this job.

3 : mere, bare The very thought frightened them.

4 : exactly the same That's the very story I told.

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Comments on very

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