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 How to pronounce very (audio) , 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 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 July 21 President Donald Trump’s efforts to rein in prescription drug prices aren’t going very well. Washington Post, "Trump’s Skimpy Health Insurance Plans, Coming to a Market Near You," 18 Sep. 2019 Jones was taken sixth overall in the NFL Draft and played very well in the preseason., "Frank Reich reaffirms Colts' commitment to Adam Vinatieri," 17 Sep. 2019 Rockstar may very well believe that a game as big as RDR2 is convincing enough for fans to skip existing launchers and install yet another EXE on their Windows machines to play the company's most recent open-world adventure. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Rockstar Games Launcher: We install it on Windows so you don’t have to [Updated]," 17 Sep. 2019 Saved by the Bell is making a comeback — and Mario Lopez‘s iconic mullet may very well be getting a reboot of its own. Eric Todisco,, "Mario Lopez Says He 'Might Be Bringing Back the Mullet' for the Saved by the Bell Reboot," 17 Sep. 2019 That’s pressure, but Rubio handled that very well leading Spain to a gold medal. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Suns point guard Ricky Rubio wins FIBA World Cup MVP, gold medal with Spain," 15 Sep. 2019 Summer days are very long this far north, and much can be seen and done in a single day. National Geographic, "Iceland Expedition: Land of Fire and Ice," 15 Sep. 2019 The last option is to just fire your client, which other Weinstein lawyers might very well have done. Elizabeth C. Tippett, The Conversation, "Weinstein may be a monster, but the lawyers who enabled him are the real villains in #MeToo takedown ‘She Said’," 12 Sep. 2019 In medium bowl, stir together goat cheese, butter, smoked salmon, lemon juice, and pepper until very well blended. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Keto Smoked Salmon Fat Bombs," 12 Sep. 2019 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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Time Traveler for very

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Very.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

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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
How to pronounce very (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on very

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for very

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


to assert without proof or before proving

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