Definition of very in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvɛri/


1Used for emphasis:
Example sentences
  • Yorkshire and especially Bradford must be very proud of this wonderful caring celebrity.
  • James, especially, took it very badly when he told them how useless they were.
  • It was a dark, deep chocolate truffle with a very distinct bite of fresh black pepper.
1.1In a high degree: a very large amount the river rose very quickly very much so
More example sentences
  • People seem to take the idea of Kevin Bacon, and his Six degrees, very seriously.
  • This is something that you learn quite quickly and is very easy to exploit if you want free technical support.
  • There has been a very high degree of co-operation between everyone involved in this case.
1.2 (with superlative or own) Used to emphasize that the following description applies without qualification: the very best quality his very own car
More example sentences
  • I've seen a lot of movies, but this is truly one of the very best I could ever hope to see.


1Actual; precise (used to emphasize the exact identity of someone or something): those were his very words he might be phoning her at this very moment
More example sentences
  • He was quickly displaying the very mental toughness which has been lacking among his players.
exact, actual, precise, particular, specific, distinct
ideal, perfect, appropriate, suitable, apt, fitting, fit, right, just right, made to order, tailor-made
British informal spot on, just the job
1.1 archaic Real; genuine: the very God of Heaven
2Emphasizing an extreme point in time or space: from the very beginning of the book at the very back of the skull
3With no addition of anything else; mere: the very thought of drink made him feel sick
mere, simple, pure, pure and simple, plain, basic;
sheer, utter



not very

1In a low degree: ‘Bad news?’ ‘Not very.’
2Far from being: I’m not very impressed
More example sentences
  • We were not very impressed to find out that Delft is also famous for small white tiles decorated in blue paint.
  • I went out at about 11 and saw one or two streaks though it was not very impressive.
  • My friend was not very impressed and it was obvious that he did not want to know anything about Islam.

the very idea!

see idea.

the very same

see same.

very well

(or dated very good)
Used to express agreement or consent: oh very well then, come in very well, you may join me very good, sir, will that be all?


Middle English (as an adjective in the sense 'real, genuine'): from Old French verai, based on Latin verus 'true'.

  • verdict from Middle English:

    After the Norman Conquest, French became the language of the law in England and many French legal terms made their way into English. Verdict came immediately from French, but goes back to Latin verus ‘true’, source also of verify (Middle English), veritable (Late Middle English), and very (Middle English), and dicere ‘to say’, from which addict (mid 16th century) originally ‘assigned by decree’ and so bound to something; condition (Middle English) speaking with, agreement; contradiction (Late Middle English) ‘speaking against’; dictate (early 17th century); predict (late 16th century) ‘speaking in advance’; and numerous other words derive.

Words that rhyme with very

beriberi, berry, BlackBerry, bury, Ceri, Derry, ferry, Gerry, jerry, Kerry, merry, perry, Pondicherry, sherry, terry, wherry, wolfberry

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: very

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