Definition of variorum in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌverēˈôrəm/


1(Of an edition of an author’s works) having notes by various editors or commentators.
Example sentences
  • Fisher's great book has been reissued in a variorum edition.
  • The numbers in parentheses are those assigned by Thomas H. Johnson, editor of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, to the poems in the 1955 variorum edition.
  • Malone's work verges, in fact, on the encyclopedic: in his variorum edition he anticipates the modern collaborative online encyclopedias.
1.1Including variant readings from manuscripts or earlier editions.
Example sentences
  • The necessary antithesis of the clean, facsimile page is therefore the riotous variorum page where perhaps only a single line of primary text remains.


A variorum edition.
Example sentences
  • Though one does not usually think of scholarly variorums as narratives, they in fact are.
  • I once noted the oddity that Hardy had two variorums and no concordance, while Hopkins had two concordances and no variorum.


Early 18th century: genitive plural of varius 'diverse', from Latin editio cum notis variorum 'edition with notes by various (commentators)'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: var·i·o·rum

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.