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See also: sun-dry


Etymology 1[edit]

The adjective is derived from Middle English sondri, sondry, syndry (individually; occasionally; separately; variously) [and other forms],[1] from Old English syndriġ (alone, distinct, separate, single; sundry, various; concerning a single person, own, particular, peculiar, private; exceptional, remarkable, set apart, special; (distributive) one each) [and other forms], from sundor (differently; privately; separate, separately) (from Proto-Germanic *sundraz (alone, isolated; separate), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *senH- (apart; for oneself; without)) + -iġ (suffix forming adjectives). The English word is analysable as sunder +‎ -y.[2]

The noun and pronoun are derived from the adjective.[3]




  1. More than one or two but not very many; a number of, several.
  2. Of various types, especially when numerous; diverse, varied.
    Synonym: manifold
  3. Consisting of an assortment of different kinds; miscellaneous.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:assorted, Thesaurus:heterogeneous
    Antonyms: see Thesaurus:homogeneous
    • 1594, Richard Hooker, “That the Course which the Wisdome of God doth Teach, Maketh Not against Our Conformity with the Church of Rome in Such Things”, in J[ohn] S[penser], editor, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, [], 3rd edition, London: [] Will[iam] Stansby [for Matthew Lownes], published 1611, →OCLC, book IV, page 139:
      For vvhat reaſon is there vvch ſhould but induce, and therfore much leſſe enforce vs to thinke, that care of diſſimilitude betvveene the people of God & the heathen nations about them, vvas any more the cauſe of forbidding them to put on garments of ſundry ſtuffe then of charging them vvithall not to ſovv their fields with meſline, or that this vvas any more the cauſe of forbidding them to eate Svvines fleſh, then of charging them vvithall not to eate the fleſh of Eagles, Haukes, and the like?
    • c. 1598–1600 (date written), William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i], page 200, column 2:
      [I]t is a melancholy of mine ovvne, compounded of many ſimples, extracted from many obiects, and indeed the ſundrie contemplation of my trauells, in which by often rumination, vvraps me in a most humorous ſadneſſe.
  4. (archaic) Chiefly preceded by a number or an adjective like many: of two or more similar people or things: not the same as other persons or things of the same nature; different, distinct, separate. (Contrast sense 5.2.)
    Synonym: other
  5. (obsolete)
    1. Relating to a single person or thing as opposed to more than one; individual, respective.
      Synonyms: personal, single
      • 1640, T[homas] F[uller], “How Far Examples are to be Followed”, in Ioseph’s Partie-colored Coat: Containing, a Comment on Part of the 11. Chapter of the 1. Epistle of S. Paul to the Corinthians: [], London: [] Iohn Dawson, for Iohn Williams, [], →OCLC; republished as William Nichols, editor, Joseph’s Party-coloured Coat: [], London: William Tegg, 1867, →OCLC, pages 112–113:
        For the heathen supposing that the whole word, and all the creatures therein, was too great a diocese to be daily visited by one and the same Deity, they therefore assigned sundry gods to several creatures.
    2. Of a person or thing: not the same as something else; different. (Contrast sense 4.)
      • 1535 October 14 (Gregorian calendar), Myles Coverdale, “A Prologe. Myles Coverdale unto the Christen Reader.”, in Biblia: The Byble, [] (Coverdale Bible), [Cologne or Marburg: Eucharius Cervicornus and J. Soter?], →OCLC:
        Where as ſome men thynke now yͭ many tranſlacyons [of the Bible] make diuiſyon in yͤ fayth and in the people of God, yͭ is not ſo: for it was neuer better with the congregacion of god, then whan euery church allmoſt had yͤ Byble of a ſondrye trãſlacion.
      • 1548, William Turner, “Carduus”, in The Names of Herbes in Greke, Latin, Englishe Duche & Frenche wyth the Commune Names that Herbaries and Apotecaries Use. [], London: [] [Steven Mierdman for] John Day and Wyllyam Seres, [], →OCLC:
        Carduus called in latin Scolimus after Galene, Aetius & Paulus is a ſundry herbe frõ Cinara.
      • 1639, Thomas Fuller, “A Comparative Estimate of the Extent of the Greek and Latine Church; What Hope of Reconcilement betwixt Them; The Influence this Breach had on the Holy Warre”, in The Historie of the Holy Warre, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: [] Thomas Buck, one of the printers to the Universitie of Cambridge [and sold by John Williams, London], →OCLC, book IV, page 176:
        [I]f hence vve go into Ruſſia and Muſcovia (vvho though differing in ceremonies, diſſent not in doctrine; as a ſundry dialect maketh not a ſeverall language) to take onely entrie Kingdomes, and omit parcels: it is a larger quantity of ground then that the Romiſh religion doth ſtretch to, ſince [Martin] Luther cut ſo large a collop out of it, and vvithdrevv North-Europe from obedience to his Holineſſe.
    3. (except Scotland) Not attached or connected to anything else; physically separate.
      Synonyms: apart, detached, loose; see also Thesaurus:separate
      • 1681, Gilbert Burnet, “[A Collection of Records, and Original Papers; with Other Instruments Referred to in the Second Part of the History of the Reformation of the Church of England.] Book I. Number 25. Queries Put Concerning Some Abuses of the Mass; with the Answers that were Made by Many Bishops and Divines to Them.”, in The History of the Reformation of the Church of England. The Second Part, [], London: [] T[homas] H[odgkin] for Richard Chiswell, [], →OCLC, page 148:
        The diſtance of place doth not lett nor hinder the Spiritual Communion vvhich is betvveen one and another, ſo that John and Thomas vvhereſoever they be, far and ſundry, or near together, being both lively Members of Chriſt, receive either of others Goodneſs ſome Commodity; []
Alternative forms[edit]
  • sindry (Northern England, Scotland)
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]


sundry (plural sundries) (chiefly in the plural)

  1. A minor miscellaneous item.
    • a. 1755 (date written), Henry Fielding, The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon, [], London: [] A[ndrew] Millar, [], published 1755, →OCLC, page 182:
      [] I am firmly perſuaded the vvhole pitiful 30 l. came pure and neat into the captain's pocket, and not only ſo, but attended vvith the value of 10 l. more in ſundries, into the bargain.
    • 1865, Frances Freeling Broderip, “Crosspatch, the Cricket, and the Counterpane”, in Crosspatch, the Cricket, and the Counterpane: A Patchwork of Story and Song, London: Griffith and Farran, (successors to Newbery & Harris), [], →OCLC, page 16:
      Here she kept her scarlet cloak, her Sunday shoes, her best cap and apron, and her steeple-crowned hat; but down at the very bottom, underneath her new checked petticoat, she found a little bag of sundries, which might serve her purpose, and which she sat down to examine at her leisure.
    • 1924 March, “Ride a Ranger All the Year ’Round [advertisement]”, in H[enry] H[aven] Windsor, editor, Popular Mechanics Magazine, volume 41, number 3, Chicago, Ill.: Popular Mechanics Co., →ISSN, →OCLC, page 192, column 2:
      Our big free catalog illustrates and describes parts, equipment and sundries that our more than a million riders may need.
    1. A food item eaten as an accompaniment to a meal; a side dish; also, such an item eaten on its own as a light meal.
  2. (chiefly Australia, cricket) Synonym of extra (a run scored without the ball having hit the striker's bat)
    • 1954, Percy Taylor, Richmond’s 100 Years of Cricket: The Story of the Richmond Cricket Club, 1854–1954, South Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic,: C. G. Meehan & Co., →OCLC:
      The wicketkeeper for Williamstown had a bad day, as sundries topped the score with 30.
    • 1969, Donald Bradman, The Art of Cricket, revised edition, London: Robson Books, published 1998, →ISBN, page 167:
      In the modern era I sometimes feel the emphasis has erroneously shifted towards placing unwarranted importance on how few sundries are recorded.
    • 1999, Ashok Kumar, “Wicket-keeping”, in Cricket (DPH Sports Series), New Delhi: Discovery Publishing House, published 2006, →ISBN, page 145:
      As for sundries, these are very often caused by erratic bowling or a nasty pitch.
Derived terms[edit]


sundry (plural, archaic sundries)

  1. (Northern England, Scotland) Various people or things; several.
    • 1680, Henry More, “Notes. Chapter XII. Vers[e] 6.”, in Apocalypsis Apocalypseos; or The Revelation of St John the Divine Unveiled. [], London: [] J. M. for J[ohn] Martyn, and W. Kettilby, [], →OCLC, page 123:
      The not underſtanding of which has made ſundry in vain attempt to predict events foretold, in the Apocalypſe to the accurateneſs of a Prophetical Day, []
    • 1902 January, John Buchan, “The Outgoing of the Tide”, in The Watcher by the Threshold, and Other Tales, Edinburgh, London: William Blackwood and Sons, published 1902, →OCLC, page 234:
      To be the bride of Christ was the thought that filled her heart; and when, at the fencing of the tables Doctor Chrystal preached from Matthew nine and fifteen, "Can the children of the bride-chamber mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?" it was remarked by sundry that Ailie's face was liker the countenance of an angel than of a mortal lass.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English sondri, sondry, syndri (individually; now and then, occasionally; physically apart, separately; variously) [and other forms],[4] from Old English syndrige [and other forms], from Old English syndriġ (adjective): see further at etymology 1.[5]



sundry (comparative more sundry, superlative most sundry) (chiefly Northern England, Scotland)

  1. Synonym of asunder (into separate parts or pieces)
    • 1712 April 28 (Gregorian calendar), Thomas Blackwell, “XIV. Mr. Blackwell to Provost Ross.”, in John Stuart, editor, The Miscellany of the Spalding Club, volume I, Aberdeen: [] [William Bennett] for the Club, published 1841, →OCLC, part IV (Letters from Professor Blackwell, and Others, to John Ross of Arnage, Provost of Aberdeen), page 220:
      [O]ur joynts have almost been pulled sundry, with driving in hackney coaches throu all corners, amongst our great men, for some weeks; []
  2. (archaic) Placed separately; apart.
    • 1658, James Durham, “Lecture V”, in A Learned and Complete Commentary upon the Book of the Revelation. [], Glasgow: [] David Niven, for James Spencer, [], published 1788, →OCLC, paragraph 5, page 51, column 1:
      [T]he church of Epheſus, or, of any certain place, includeth all the profeſſors living there; they are accounted of that church, and no other, as providence hath put them together: and the churches are divided as they live ſundry.
  3. (obsolete) Individually, separately; sundrily.
Alternative forms[edit]


  1. ^ sǒndrī, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ Compare “sundry, adj. and pron.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “sundry, adj.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. ^ sundry, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “sundry, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  4. ^ sǒndrī, adv.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  5. ^ Compare “sundry, adv.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2022.

Further reading[edit]