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variety

[vuh-rahy-i-tee] /vəˈraɪ ɪ ti/
noun, plural varieties.
1.
the state of being varied or diversified:
to give variety to a diet.
2.
difference; discrepancy.
3.
a number of different types of things, especially ones in the same general category:
a large variety of fruits.
4.
a kind or sort.
5.
a different form, condition, or phase of something:
varieties of pastry; a variety of economic reforms.
6.
a category within a species, based on some hereditary difference.
7.
a type of animal or plant produced by artificial selection.
8.
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).
9.
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).
adjective
10.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a variety:
a variety performer.
Origin
1525-1535
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.
Synonyms
1. diversity, multiplicity. 3. assortment, collection, group. 5. kind, sort, class, species.
Antonyms
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for variety show

variety

/vəˈraɪɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
the quality or condition of being diversified or various
2.
a collection of unlike things, esp of the same general group; assortment
3.
a different form or kind within a general category; sort varieties of behaviour
4.
  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
5.
  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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for variety show

variety

n.

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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