\ ˈver-ē How to pronounce very (audio) , ˈve-rē \

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
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 identitybefore 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


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 There will be very clear instructions for efficient entrance and egress at the Engagement center, and the service will be solely to distribute the winter goods., "Community news for the Enfield edition," 22 Oct. 2020 And there is very little regulation of license plate readers operated by private entities, such as towing companies or private security firms, who may create their own databases and then sell access to them. Tom Jackman, Washington Post, "Va. police can keep license plate data indefinitely, Va. Supreme Court rules," 22 Oct. 2020 Sprouse walked away from filming that scene with a very high appreciation for Fiennes Tiffin's leg strength. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "After We Collided stars on the sequel's 'untraditional love triangle' and 'toxic relationship'," 22 Oct. 2020 Providers struggle to balance the often very high customer-acquisition costs with small, if growing, revenue streams from online consultations, Mr. Kapur says. Martin Mou, WSJ, "Covid-19 Gives Boost to China’s Telemedicine Industry," 22 Oct. 2020 Board member Jeffrey Leikin made his position very clear. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland, "Orange school board, superintendent agree students should have in-person learning option," 21 Oct. 2020 Even colder air from the north will sink into the Pacific Northwest over the weekend lowering snow levels to about 1,500 feet, but very little moisture will accompany it. oregonlive, "Portland Wednesday weather: Spotty, light showers; frosty overnight," 21 Oct. 2020 Four counties are now in the red zone for very high community spread: Posey, Ohio, Dearborn and Vermillion. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana coronavirus cases: 1,766 new cases, 15 new deaths reported," 21 Oct. 2020 And depending on how the technology evolves, those ships could even bring back what very little waste the settlement produces. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Elon Musk Says His City on Mars Will Have to Pass This Acid Test," 20 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective At the very end of the broadcast, Derek chose Carole, eliminating Charles from the competition. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Dancing With the Stars' Fans Are Fuming at Derek Hough for Not Eliminating Carole Baskin," 23 Sep. 2020 Ashley formed an early alliance with Russell Hantz and Natalie White on the Foa Foa tribe — an alliance that may have taken her to the very end (where the other two ended up). Dalton Ross,, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Ashley Trainer still 'shocked' she was on Samoa," 20 Oct. 2020 Alonso replaced Dotson and played until the very end on a 34-degree night. Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune, "Ozzie Alonso has strong return for Loons; match vs. Chicago rescheduled," 19 Oct. 2020 Back at the very end of the last century, my brother fell in love with a Japanese woman. Michael Calore, Wired, "MiniDiscs Helped Me Keep in Touch With My Brother, a World Away," 15 Oct. 2020 Despite indulging fans’ obsessions with the Gilmore guys, Sherman-Palladino, however, makes a point at the very end of the show to circle back to the relationship that matters most. Natalie Morin,, "How Did Gilmore Girls Become About The Gilmore Boys?," 7 Oct. 2020 These are typically included toward the very end of the ingredients list. Sian Babish,, "The best body wash for kids," 7 Oct. 2020 Jackson was under duress from the start until the very end, when senior defensive end Manogiamanu finished things with a sack. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, "Last-minute dramatics carry Bartlett past Eagle River, 20-15," 4 Oct. 2020 Then, at the very end of the procedure, the umbilical-cord vessels inexplicably began to coagulate. Sarah Stewart Johnson, The New Yorker, "A Scientist’s Reckoning with the Cruelty of Chance," 4 Oct. 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


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

History and Etymology for very


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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Learn More about very

Time Traveler for very

Time Traveler

The first known use of very was in the 13th century

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Statistics for very

Last Updated

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Very.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for very


How to pronounce very (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of very

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to a great degree
used to emphasize the exactness of a description

English Language Learners Definition of very (Entry 2 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


\ ˈver-ē How to pronounce very (audio) \

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.

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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