very

adverb
\ 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

very

adjective
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

Choose the Right Synonym for very

Adjective

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Your story has been told in one very specific, strategically edited way. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 June 2022 Now that its oncology portfolio has been partly written off by investors, there is very little to lose by sticking around. David Wainer, WSJ, 14 June 2022 These disparate parts agreed on very little, save for replacing Mr. Netanyahu and avoiding yet another election cycle after four largely inconclusive ballots between 2019 and 2021. Neri Zilber, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 June 2022 Just 23 years old with very little experience in journalism, much less sifting through medical-ese under a time crunch, this young woman performed at not just an A level, but an A+ level. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, 13 June 2022 By his own admission, Xan knew very little about the world. André Alexis, The New Yorker, 13 June 2022 Thirty-three bullets identifying different software programs, platforms and very specific competencies. Pablo Listingart, Forbes, 10 June 2022 In a conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Ryan O'Connell joked that, Cattrall has in some way been mothering him for a very long time. Kelly Wynne, PEOPLE.com, 10 June 2022 But for Meta investors, the 2030s seem a very long way off indeed. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 10 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Perched at the very top of the Garden, on a ledge overlooking the ice, is the organist for the Rangers, Ray Castoldi. Millie Von Platen, The New Yorker, 11 June 2022 Go-to-market alignment should start at the very top of your organization. Toby Carrington, Forbes, 8 June 2022 After braving the childhood trauma of being the weird kid with gills, Deep rose to the very top, basking in worldwide fame with Earth’s most powerful superheroes. Todd Spangler, Variety, 8 June 2022 Since being featured so heavily in the May 27-released episode, Bush’s song has skyrocketed to the very top of the iTunes charts. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 31 May 2022 Yosemite Falls is North America’s tallest waterfall, at 2,425 feet above the valley floor, and this trail brings you up to the very top. Ashley Dunne, Sunset Magazine, 27 May 2022 The picture at the very top is of Robb Elementary and encapsulates every parent’s worst nightmare. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2022 Most swim dresses are shorter in length with hems that end at the very top of the thigh, but this swim dress from Lands' End hits mid-thigh to provide even more coverage. Amanda Constantine, Good Housekeeping, 25 May 2022 Even more convenient is the Velcro pocket at the very top of the front panel, right under my chin. Brett Williams, Men's Health, 24 May 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.

First Known Use of very

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adjective

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

History and Etymology for very

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

Learn More About very

Time Traveler for very

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near very

Verwoerd

very

Very's night signals

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for very

Last Updated

17 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Very.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/very. Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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

More Definitions for very

very

adverb
\ 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.

very

adjective

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

WORD OF THE DAY

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!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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