Word of the Day

Wednesday, January 07, 2004


\VAIR-ee-uh-gay-tid\ , adjective;
Having marks or patches of different colors; as, "variegated leaves or flowers."
Varied; distinguished or characterized by variety; diversified.
We spotted variegated hollies, wild mahonia, bergenia, vinca and cotoneaster growing freely between the markers, and as we made our way up and down the fragrant paths, pausing over the monuments to the dead that nestled, neglected, in the tousled undergrowth, we felt like explorers in a haunted jungle.
-- Caroline Seebohm, "Ambushed by Brussels", New York Times, August 22, 1999
Colours range from golden yellow to blue and include conspicuously variegated examples.
-- Catherine Fieldman, "Hostas don't bear grudges", Times (London), September 2, 2000
But as no one was being hurt, you were right to sit quietly and marvel at the variegated -- and sometimes idiotic -- beliefs of humanity.
-- Randy Cohen, "What Can I Say?", New York Times Magazine, July 11, 1999
Variegated derives from the past participle of Late Latin variegare, from Latin varius, "various" + agere, "to do, to make."
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