very

1 of 2

adverb

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

2 of 2

adjective

verier; veriest
1
a
: exact, precise
the very heart of the city
b
: exactly suitable or necessary
the very thing for the purpose
2
a
: 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
7
a
: 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

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb
Andrew Ross, 27, from Cambridge, was in the queue on the very first night possible to see the queen lying-in-state at Westminster Hall. Karla Adam, Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2022 The very first play of the ensuing drive, Jackson found Bateman open cutting in against Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard with no safety to stop Bateman over the middle after Baltimore’s pre-snap motion. David Furones, Sun Sentinel, 18 Sep. 2022 Like any skill developed over time, your very first filter will be a mess that’s difficult to make. Reece Rogers, WIRED, 18 Sep. 2022 The very first missionary in the book of Acts was a castrated Black man, the Ethiopian eunuch. John Blake, CNN, 17 Sep. 2022 In the slow first quarter, the Firebirds fumbled on their very first drive and, if not for a defensive penalty, would have fumbled again on their second. The Enquirer, 17 Sep. 2022 The teaser trailer for Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid dropped just one week ago, giving audiences their very first look at Halle Bailey‘s highly anticipated portrayal of the beloved princess Ariel. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 16 Sep. 2022 That's going to start right from the very first episode this season. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, 15 Sep. 2022 Linebacker Isaiah Simmons wore the green communications decal on his helmet for the very first time, as the conduit of signals and calls for the Cardinals' defense against Kansas City. José M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, 15 Sep. 2022
Adjective
Starting from check-in time until the very end of their stay, every moment is made special thanks to the personal touch of the people who dedicate themselves to guests. Marykate Boylan, Town & Country, 17 Sep. 2022 Even though O'Donnell had DeGeneres on as a guest on her talk show, the former View co-host said she was never invited on The Ellen DeGeneres Show until the very end of its 19-season run. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 16 Sep. 2022 The birds of prey don’t fly in bad weather—and October is the very end of Panama’s rainy season. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Sep. 2022 The new research, published in the journal Science on Thursday, is based on computer modeling using measurements made in 2017 at the very end of NASA’s Cassini mission, which spent 13 years exploring Saturn and its moons. Katie Hunt, CNN, 15 Sep. 2022 That upcoming third season may be Ted Lasso's last, opening up the possibility that the show will remain undefeated to the very end. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 12 Sep. 2022 And some of us have held on, watching every dramatic turn, and rooting for Nova, Charley and Ralph-Angel to the very end. R29 Unbothered, refinery29.com, 12 Sep. 2022 At the very end of the first-look video, Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin returns and is wearing an eyepatch. Wilson Chapman, Variety, 10 Sep. 2022 Both events symbolized as much as anything a sense of duty that endured until the very end. Stephen Fidler, WSJ, 8 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adjective

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near very

Cite this Entry

“Very.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/very. Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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Kids Definition

very 1 of 2

adverb

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

2 of 2

adjective

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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Last Updated: 21 Sep 2022

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