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[vuh-rahy-i-tee] /vəˈraɪ ɪ ti/
noun, plural varieties.
the state of being varied or diversified:
to give variety to a diet.
difference; discrepancy.
a number of different types of things, especially ones in the same general category:
a large variety of fruits.
a kind or sort.
a different form, condition, or phase of something:
varieties of pastry; a variety of economic reforms.
a category within a species, based on some hereditary difference.
a type of animal or plant produced by artificial selection.
Philately. a stamp differing from others of the same issue through an accident other than an error of an artist or printer.
Compare error (def 8), freak1 (def 5).
Also called variety show. entertainment of mixed character, consisting of a number of individual performances or acts, as of singing, dancing, or skits.
Compare vaudeville (def 1).
of, relating to, or characteristic of a variety:
a variety performer.
1525-35; < Latin varietās, equivalent to vari(us) various + -etās, variant of -itās -ity after a vowel
Related forms
nonvariety, noun, plural nonvarieties.
overvariety, noun
subvariety, noun, plural subvarieties.
1. diversity, multiplicity. 3. assortment, collection, group. 5. kind, sort, class, species.
1. sameness.
Usage note
3, 5. As a collective noun, variety, when preceded by a, is often treated as a plural: A variety of inexpensive goods are sold here. When preceded by the, it is usually treated as a singular: The variety of products is small. See also collective noun, number. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for varieties
  • And since the weaker varieties persist, so does vulnerability to disease.
  • If you have time to apply for such jobs while applying for other varieties of jobs, do it.
  • But if he wants to be a good teacher, the best thing he can do is to teach himself about the varieties and vagaries of humanity.
  • And stainless is now made in a lot of coated varieties that don't show fingerprints so much.
  • It's easy to hold in any position, especially the all-important standing-on-the-moving-train and lying-in-bed varieties.
  • Deadly bacteria are the scourge of emergency rooms, in part because there are not enough varieties of antibiotics to fight them.
  • But manufacturers believe that demand will pick up again if they can develop new varieties, flavors, and uses.
  • These varieties are lost sight of when seen at a little distance, at a little height of thought.
  • With respect to many of these forms, hardly two naturalists agree whether to rank them as species or as varieties.
  • The same varieties of the cabbage do not yield abundant and nutritious foliage and a copious supply of oil-bearing seeds.
British Dictionary definitions for varieties


noun (pl) -ties
the quality or condition of being diversified or various
a collection of unlike things, esp of the same general group; assortment
a different form or kind within a general category; sort: varieties of behaviour
  1. (taxonomy) a race whose distinct characters are insufficient to justify classification as a separate species; a subspecies
  2. (horticulture, stockbreeding) a strain of animal or plant produced by artificial breeding
  1. entertainment consisting of a series of short unrelated performances or acts, such as comedy turns, songs, dances, sketches, etc
  2. (as modifier): a variety show
Word Origin
C16: from Latin varietās, from various
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for varieties



1530s, from Middle French variété, from Latin varietatem (nominative varietas) "difference, diversity," from varius "various" (see vary). In reference to "music hall or theatrical performances of a mixed nature," first recorded 1868, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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