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


\ 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


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


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


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

As soon as my son was born, attending to my wants and needs became a very distant memory as the pressure to be a perfect parent mounted. Minhae Shim Roth, Glamour, "My Reward for Having a Baby? A $1,000 Gucci Bag," 7 Jan. 2019 Unlike Uber, which requires users to at the very least exchange a greeting with their driver, the labor done by Flex drivers is nearly invisible. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Amazon is cutting costs with its own delivery service — but its drivers don’t receive benefits," 26 Dec. 2018 At the very least, Hulu’s interest in the show ended up pushing the price up well beyond the $30 million a year Netflix was already paying for it. Peter Kafka, Recode, "The story behind Netflix’s $100 million ‘Friends’ deal," 5 Dec. 2018 Here are other great (very) last-minute Hanukkah gifts. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This Homesick Hanukkah Candle Legit Smells Like Potato Latkes And A Hint Of Jelly Donuts," 4 Dec. 2018 Try to let go of food rules (preferably forever but at the very least just for this season). Abby Langer, SELF, "How to Deal With the Holidays When You’re Anxious About Food," 20 Nov. 2018 But while many newer sound bars can be paired with separate smart speakers, very few come with an assistant (Alexa) directly built in. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—good tech for the home and home office," 19 Nov. 2018 Audio-Technica’s most common request from users has been a wireless M50x, and the company has tried to achieve that in a very literal way. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Audio-Technica M50xBT review: better beats," 12 Nov. 2018 Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 Update, the October 2018 Update, contained very little new within Windows specific to Cortana. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Goodbye, Cortana: Microsoft's Javier Soltero leaves, putting the digital assistant's future in doubt," 6 Nov. 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,, "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


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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More Definitions for very



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



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

: to a great degree

—used to emphasize the exactness of a description


\ 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.



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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More from Merriam-Webster on very

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with very

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for very

Spanish Central: Translation of very

Nglish: Translation of very for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of very for Arabic Speakers

Comments on very

What made you want to look up very? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


involving abstract or general statements

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