I have never heard very used as an adjective except in the phrase "very best", in which it means "as best as possible", not as "true, real, actual". Is this a dialectical usage of very, or a potential obsolete usage?
"Very best" is the adverb, I think: "verily (truly) the best". Equinox◑ 17:28, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Yet “very best” is used as an example for “very” as an adjective (sense 1). Can “very” in “very best” sometimes be an adjective, or is the example in the wrong category? --Anareth (talk) 11:39, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
It's basically obsolete. Consider the Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas: "In his master's steps he trod / Where the snow lay dinted. / Heat was in the very sod / Which the Saint had printed." Equinox◑ 11:57, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I think our example is okay because he tried his "very best" (Adj + Noun): his real, true best. However, in "his very best attempt", it would be an adverb. Equinox◑ 11:58, 19 May 2016 (UTC)