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[vur-suh-tl or, esp. British, -tahyl] /ˈvɜr sə tl or, esp. British, -ˌtaɪl/
capable of or adapted for turning easily from one to another of various tasks, fields of endeavor, etc.:
a versatile writer.
having or capable of many uses:
a versatile tool.
Botany. attached at or near the middle so as to swing freely, as an anther.
Zoology. turning either forward or backward:
a versatile toe.
variable or changeable, as in feeling, purpose, or policy:
versatile moods.
Origin of versatile
1595-1605; < Latin versātilis revolving, many-sided, equivalent to versāt(us) (past participle of versāre, frequentative of vertere to turn; see verse, -ate1) + -ilis -ile
Related forms
versatilely, adverb
versatility, versatileness, noun
nonversatility, noun
unversatile, adjective
unversatilely, adverb
unversatileness, noun
unversatility, noun
1, 2. adaptable, all-around. 2. handy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for versatile
  • Sunset offers you the best selection of beautiful and versatile plans to enhance your lifestyle.
  • With a few versatile pieces you can create an outdoor living space that is comfortable and stylish.
  • Good that it's so sturdy, because it's a super seasoning, versatile and unique.
  • It's versatile enough that you can use various types of fish and whatever type of vegetables you might have one hand.
  • Both can be rooted, making them more versatile devices than they are out of the box.
  • It's versatile and found in cuisines throughout the globe.
  • The chemical building blocks that make plastics so versatile are the same components that might harm people and the environment.
  • Natural rubber is neither durable enough nor versatile enough for many modern applications.
  • It is super versatile, especially if there is an easily detachable bayonet mount.
  • Confirmed, however, is the idea that blogging is useful and versatile.
British Dictionary definitions for versatile


capable of or adapted for many different uses, skills, etc
variable or changeable
(botany) (of an anther) attached to the filament by a small area so that it moves freely in the wind
(zoology) able to turn forwards and backwards: versatile antennae
Derived Forms
versatilely, adverb
versatility (ˌvɜːsəˈtɪlɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin versātilis moving around, from versāre to turn
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 versatile

c.1600, from Latin versatilis "turning, revolving, moving, capable of turning to varied subjects or tasks," from past participle stem of versare "keep turning, be engaged in something, turn over in the mind," frequentative of vertere "to turn" (see versus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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