\ 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 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

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 regards to his future, Paul made one thing very clear. Katherine Fitzgerald, The Arizona Republic, 22 July 2021 Along with pestilence and plague have come cascading natural disasters, some of them very likely directly caused by climate change, some of them a preview of our near future on a planet warming faster than even pessimistic scientists predicted., 22 July 2021 The matchup has been very competitive of late, as the Beavers have won six of the last 11 games, including 2019, a 35-34 decision in Reser Stadium. oregonlive, 21 July 2021 And this particular problem of overtreatment, unnecessary treatment, is very poorly studied. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 21 July 2021 Hopefully the end result is something that will be a very memorable sequence for years to come for Flash fans. Chancellor Agard,, 21 July 2021 For Osaka and other Black female professional athletes throughout history, being thrust into the spotlight of the court often comes with enough cons to turn one's very dream into a nightmare. Ineye Komonibo,, 20 July 2021 On the face of it, the royal family has kept calm and carried on—continuing with their duties and saying very little publicly in response to Harry and Meghan’s comments or actions. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 20 July 2021 To that end, the song now ends with a very Oklahoma! Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, 19 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And once again, a new generation's basketball GOAT battles for his very existence against impossibly formidable Goon Squad opponents. Editors, USA TODAY, 16 July 2021 Mathematicians question its very existence as a valid operation and are bothered by the way physicists rely on it. Charlie Wood, Wired, 4 July 2021 The American Civil Liberties Union successfully challenged the denial on First Amendment grounds but by doing so alienated so many of its members that its very survival was threatened., 2 July 2021 The American Civil Liberties Union successfully challenged the denial on First Amendment grounds, but by doing so alienated so many of its members that its very survival was threatened. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 29 June 2021 And, there are the many insects and bats for whom the nearby pond is a life-giving source and guarantees their very survival. Jeanine Barone, Forbes, 27 June 2021 The task force’s report, however, would have the imprimatur of the intelligence community, and its very existence was hard to square with charges of hobbyism. Gideon Lewis-krau, The New Yorker, 26 June 2021 Mathematicians question its very existence as a valid operation and are bothered by the way physicists rely on it. Quanta Magazine, 17 June 2021 Uyghur lives matter, and no corporate profit margin should ever come before our very survival and dignity. Rayhan Asat, WSJ, 16 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for very

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near very



Very's night signals

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Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Very.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for very



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on very

Nglish: Translation of very for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of very for Arabic Speakers


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