The adjective is derived from Middle English sondri, sondry, syndry (“individually; occasionally; separately; variously”) [and other forms], 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.
- (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /ˈsʌndɹi/
Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: sund‧ry
- More than one or two but not very many; a number of, several.
- 1552, Thomas Cranmer [et al.], compilers, “An Ordre for Morninge Prayer Dayly throughout the Yeare”, in The Boke of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacramentes, […], 2nd edition, London: […] Edwardi Whytchurche […], →OCLC:
- Dearely beloued brethren, the ſcripture moueth vs in ſondrye places, to acknowledge and confeſſe our manyfolde ſynnes and wyckedneſſe, […]
- 1564 February, Erasmus, “The Saiynges of Marcus Tullius Cicero”, in Nicolas Udall [i.e., Nicholas Udall], transl., Apophthegmes, that is to Saie, Prompte, Quicke, Wittie and Sentẽcious Saiynges, […], London: […] Ihon Kingston, →OCLC, book II, folio 229, recto, paragraph 45, marginal note:
- 1570, Margaret Ascham, “To the Honorable Sir William Cecill Knight, Principall Secretarie to the Quenes Most Excellent Maiestie”, in Roger Ascham, edited by Margaret Ascham, The Scholemaster: Or Plaine and Perfite Way of Teaching Children, to Vnderstand, Write, and Speake, the Latin Tong, […], London: […] John Daye, […], →OCLC:
- Sondry & reaſonable be the cauſes vvhy learned men haue vſed to offer and dedicate ſuch vvorkes as they put abrode, to ſome ſuch perſonage as they thinke fitteſt, either in reſpect of abilitie of defenſe, or ſkill for iugement, or priuate regard of kindeneſſe and dutie.
- c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene iii], page 147, column 1:
- VVith this ſtrange vertue, / He hath a heauenly guift of Propheſie, / And ſundry Bleſſings hang about his Throne, / That ſpeake him full of Grace.
- 1640, John Parkinson, “Stratiotes sive Militaris Aizoides. Water Souldier.”, in Theatrum Botanicum: The Theater of Plants. Or, An Herball of a Large Extent: […], London: […] Tho[mas] Cotes, →OCLC, page 1249:
- The VVater Souldier hath divers and ſundry long narrovv leaves pointed ſet cloſe together ſomevvhat like unto the leaves of Aloes for the forme, […]
- 1782, [Frances Burney], “A Masquerade”, in Cecilia, or Memoirs of an Heiress. […], volume I, London: […] T[homas] Payne and Son […], and T[homas] Cadell […], →OCLC, book II, pages 181–182:
- [H]e cleared a ſemi-circular ſpace before her chair, thrice vvith the moſt profound reverence bovved to her, thrice turned himſelf around vvith ſundry grimaces, and then fiercely planted himſelf at her ſide.
- 1841 February–November, Charles Dickens, “Barnaby Rudge”, in Master Humphrey’s Clock, volume III, London: Chapman & Hall, […], →OCLC, chapter 50, page 227:
- "Some liquor here! Be quick, or he'll not stop, even for that. He is a man of such desperate ardour!" said the smooth secretary, whom Mr Dennis corroborated with sundry nods and muttered oaths—"Once roused, he is a fellow of such fierce determination!"
- 1887, Richard F[rancis] Burton, transl. and editor, “Alaeddin; or, The Wonderful Lamp. [Night 547.]”, in Supplemental Nights to the Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night […], Shammar edition, volume III, [London]: […] Burton Club […], →OCLC, page 108:
- O woman, for sundry days I have seen thee attend the levée sans a word said; so tell me an thou have any requirement I may grant.
- 1917, Lewis Spence, “Preface”, in Mexico of the Mexicans, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons […], →OCLC, page iii:
- The Author sincerely hopes that this volume will clear away some of the mists which surround Mexico at the present time. But he has experienced the utmost difficulty in obtaining news of recent events from the Republic because of the prohibition placed upon correspondence. He feels, however, that he has in a measure overcome this by the piecing together of matter from sundry reliable sources, and hopes that he has been enabled to present his readers with a truthful account of things as they are at the present day, in a land the mighty destinies of which he devoutly and hopefully believes in.
- Of various types, especially when numerous; diverse, varied.
- Synonym: manifold
- 1856, Harriet Beecher Stowe, “The Camp-meeting”, in Dred; a Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp. […], volume I, Boston, Mass.: Phillips, Sampson and Company, →OCLC, page 297:
- On the outskirts were various rude booths, in which whiskey and water, and sundry articles of provision, and fodder for horses, were dispensed for a consideration.
- Consisting of an assortment of different kinds; miscellaneous.
- 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.
- (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
- 1551, Wylliam Turner [i.e., William Turner], “Of Great Saint Johnes Wurte, Ascyron”, in A New Herball, […], London: […] Steven Mierdman, and they are to be soolde […] by John Gybken, →OCLC, folio 26, recto:
- a. 1701, [John] Dryden, “Book I”, in Ovid, Ovid’s Art of Love. […], London: […] Jacob Tonson […], published 1709, →OCLC, page 55:
- Here I had ended, but Experience finds, / That ſundry VVomen are of ſundry Minds; / VVith various Crochets fill'd, and hard to pleaſe, / They therefore muſt be caught by various VVays.
- Relating to a single person or thing as opposed to more than one; individual, respective.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- (except Scotland) Not attached or connected to anything else; physically 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; […]
- Relating to a single person or thing as opposed to more than one; individual, respective.
- sindry (Northern England, Scotland)
- 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.
- 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.
- 1836 February 8, “Boz” [pseudonym; Charles Dickens], “The Great Winglebury Duel”, in Sketches by “Boz,” Illustrative of Every-day Life, and Every-day People. […], volume II, London: John Macrone, […], published 1836, →OCLC, page 220:
- […] Mr. Alexander Trott sat down to a fried sole, maintenon cutlet, Madeira, and sundries, with much greater composure than he had experienced since the receipt of Horace Hunter's letter of defiance.
- 1838, Boz [pseudonym; Charles Dickens], “Looks after Oliver, and Proceeds with His Adventures”, in Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy’s Progress. […], volume II, London: Richard Bentley, […], →OCLC, page 145:
- It happened that about this time, Mr. Giles, Brittles, and the tinker were recruiting themselves after the fatigues and terrors of the night, with tea and sundries in the kitchen.
- (chiefly Australia, cricket) Synonym of
- 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.
sundry (plural, archaic sundries)
- (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.
From Middle English sondri, sondry, syndri (“individually; now and then, occasionally; physically apart, separately; variously”) [and other forms], from Old English syndrige [and other forms], from Old English syndriġ (adjective): see further at etymology 1.
- (Received Pronunciation, General American, Ireland) IPA(key): /ˈsʌndɹi/
- (Scotland) IPA(key): /ˈsɪndɹɪ/, /ˈsʌn-/
Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: sund‧ry
- Synonym of
- 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; […]
- (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.
- (obsolete) Individually, separately; sundrily.
- sindry (Scotland)
- ^ “sǒndrī, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “sundry, adj. and pron.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “sundry, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- ^ “sundry, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “sundry, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- ^ “sǒndrī, adv.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “sundry, adv.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2022.