verb (used with object), varied, varying.
to change or alter, as in form, appearance, character, or substance: to vary one's methods.
to cause to be different from something else: The orchestra varied last night's program with one new selection.
to avoid or relieve from uniformity or monotony; diversify: to vary one's diet.
Music. to alter (a melody or theme) by modification or embellishments without changing its identity.
verb (used without object), varied, varying.
to show diversity; be different: The age at which children are ready to read varies.
to undergo change in appearance, form, substance, character, etc.: The landscape begins to vary as one drives south.
to change periodically or in succession; differ or alternate: Demand for certain products varies with the season.
to diverge; depart; deviate (usually followed by from ): to vary from the norm.
Mathematics. to be subject to change.
Biology. to exhibit variation.

1300–50; Middle English varien < Latin variāre, equivalent to vari(us) (see various) + -āre infinitive suffix

varier, noun
varyingly, adverb
intervary, verb (used without object), intervaried, intervarying.
overvary, verb, overvaried, overvarying.
self-varying, adjective
unvarying, adjective
unvaryingly, adverb

1. modify, mutate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
vary (ˈvɛərɪ)
vb (foll by from) , varies, varying, varied
1.  to undergo or cause to undergo change, alteration, or modification in appearance, character, form, attribute, etc
2.  to be different or cause to be different; be subject to change
3.  (tr) to give variety to
4.  to differ, as from a convention, standard, etc
5.  (intr) to change in accordance with another variable: her mood varies with the weather; pressure varies directly with temperature and inversely with volume
6.  (tr) music to modify (a theme) by the use of variation
[C14: from Latin variāre, from variusvarious]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-14c. (trans.), late 14c. (intrans.), from O.Fr. varier, from L. variare "change, alter, make different," from varius "varied, different, spotted;" perhaps related to varus "bent, crooked, knock-kneed," and varix "varicose vein," from a PIE base *wer- "high raised spot or other bodily infirmity" (cf.
O.E. wearte "wart," Swed. varbulde "pus swelling," L. verruca "wart").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

vary var·y (vâr'ē, vār'ē)
v. var·ied, var·y·ing, var·ies

  1. To make or cause changes in the characteristics or attributes of; modify or alter.

  2. To undergo or show change.

  3. To be different; deviate.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
The resulting growth will vary depending on the bud.
Vary the forms of cornmeal, from stone-ground to polenta, for a surprising
  range of flavors and textures.
The water and fertilizer needs of shrubs vary widely, so it's important to
  learn each plant's requirements before purchase.
Vary the bread, cheese, and other fillings for a spread of sandwiches that will
  make everyone happy.
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