Definition of various in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈverēəs/


1Different from one another; of different kinds or sorts: dresses of various colors his grievances were many and various
More example sentences
  • Monday I leave for Boston with a car full of cameras and film of various shapes and sizes.
  • Koi carp found in the UK come in various colours, but are always bright and distinctive.
  • The performances are polished and well adapted to the differing styles of the various works.
1.1Having or showing different properties or qualities: their environments are locally various
More example sentences
  • Faces in the Crowd offers a wonderfully various and intelligently chosen spread of images.
  • Their environments are locally various and the types of cattle are often divided from each other by the topography of the country.
  • Gorky's drawings are so rich, so various, so complex, and often so mysterious that they must be studied with rigorous concentration if we are to tease out their secrets.

determiner& pronoun

More than one; individual and separate: [as determiner]: various people arrived late [as pronoun]: various of her friends had called
More example sentences
  • Over the past few days various local celebrities and sports stars have called in to offer their support.
  • The school teaches children various instruments from piano to electronic keyboard.
  • They will be directed to the various other venues, both public and commercial.


In standard English, the word various is normally used as an adjective. It is best reserved for contexts indicating variety, and should not be used as a synonym for several. In colloquial American speech, various is sometimes also used (as though it were a pronoun) followed by of, as in various of her friends had called —another way of saying some of or several of. This use is discouraged by some traditionalists, however, because various is properly an adjective, not a pronoun.



Example sentences
  • The book threatens to collapse under its own variousness.
  • The magazines I'd learned most from, Yugen and Locus Solus, were committed to a sense of variousness, and I had no interest in editing a magazine where the bloc of contributors was the same from issue to issue.
  • But for all the variousness and inventiveness with which Andrews treats the idea in his early work, one problem arises, acutely explored by P. Inman.


Late Middle English: from Latin varius 'changing, diverse' + -ous.

Words that rhyme with various

Aquarius, calcareous, Darius, denarius, gregarious, hilarious, multifarious, nefarious, omnifarious, precarious, Sagittarius, senarius, Stradivarius, temerarious, vicarious

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: var·i·ous

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.