va·​ri·​e·​ty | \ və-ˈrī-ə-tē How to pronounce variety (audio) \
plural varieties

Definition of variety

1 : the quality or state of having different forms or types : multifariousness
2 : a number or collection of different things especially of a particular class : assortment
3a : something differing from others of the same general kind : sort
b : any of various groups of plants or animals ranking below a species : subspecies

Examples of variety in a Sentence

I was surprised by the variety of the choices that were available. My life needs more variety.
Recent Examples on the Web Unlike traditional pillows that have tapered sides, Pillow Cube pillows have 90-degree edges available in a variety of heights to provide proper neck alignment when sleeping on your side. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, 7 June 2022 Like all large cities, it's evolved and changed in a variety of different ways. Alessandro Corona, The Enquirer, 7 June 2022 So, while income or GDP per capita are not the only things that matter, the data clearly show that richer countries experience better outcomes across a variety of things people care about, such as childhood health outcomes and hunger. Adam A. Millsap, Forbes, 6 June 2022 In addition to Gazelle kicks ($850) in a variety of colorways, the range’s footwear includes clogs with horsebit hardware, slide sandals, brown leather loafers and flatform shoes. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 June 2022 The work was part of a group that won Hardrick the second-place medal in the competitive 1927 Harmon Awards that supported Black achievements in a variety of fields. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 6 June 2022 These complex financial tools, a mix of insurance and investment, come in a variety of product types and are sold as a way to safeguard retirement assets until they can be tapped for a stream of income. Lori Ioannou, WSJ, 4 June 2022 During the sale, Walmart+ shoppers can access thousands of deals across a variety of categories, from fashion to home goods and everything in between. Brittany Vincent, SELF, 2 June 2022 The actor, comedian, TV host and singer is looking to expand his international presence and appeal to audiences across a variety of mediums. Manori Ravindran, Variety, 25 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'variety.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of variety

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for variety

borrowed from Middle French or Latin; Middle French varieté, borrowed from Latin varietāt-, varietās, from varius "having contrasting colors, various entry 1" + -etāt- -etās, variant of -itās -ity

Learn More About variety

Time Traveler for variety

Time Traveler

The first known use of variety was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near variety



variety is the spice of life

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for variety

Last Updated

9 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Variety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for variety


va·​ri·​ety | \ və-ˈrī-ə-tē How to pronounce variety (audio) \
plural varieties

Kids Definition of variety

1 : a collection of different things This store sells a variety of items.
2 : the quality or state of having different forms or types My diet lacks variety.
3 : something (as a plant or animal) that differs from others of the same general kind or of the group to which it belongs a variety of tulip
4 : entertainment made up of performances (as dances and songs) that follow one another and are not related


va·​ri·​e·​ty | \ və-ˈrī-ət-ē How to pronounce variety (audio) \
plural varieties

Medical Definition of variety

: any of various groups of plants or animals ranking below a species : subspecies

More from Merriam-Webster on variety

Nglish: Translation of variety for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of variety for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about variety


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!