vary

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English varien, from Old French varier, from Latin variō (to change, alter, make different), from varius (different, various); see various.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

vary (third-person singular simple present varies, present participle varying, simple past and past participle varied)

  1. (transitive) To change with time or a similar parameter.
    He varies his magic tricks so as to minimize the possibility that any given audience member will see the same trick twice.
    • 1695, John Dryden (translator), Observations on the Art of Painting by Charles Alphonse du Fresnoy
      We are to vary the customs according to the time and country where the scene of action lies.
  2. (transitive) To institute a change in, from a current state; to modify.
    You should vary your diet. Eating just bread will do you harm in the end.
    • a. 1687', Edmund Waller, to Phyllis
      Gods, that never change their state, / Vary oft their love and hate.
  3. (intransitive) Not to remain constant: to change with time or a similar parameter.
    His mood varies by the hour.
    The sine function varies between −1 and 1.
    • 1713, Joseph Addison, Cato, published 1712, [Act 3, scene 1]:
      While fear and anger, with alternate grace, / Pant in her breast, and vary in her face.
  4. (of the members of a group, intransitive) To display differences.
    The sprouting tendency of potatoes varies between cultivars, years and places of growing.
    • 1960 February, “The modernisation of Peterborough”, in Trains Illustrated, page 108:
      In the new layout, it is proposed to provide three island platforms with six platform faces varying from 1,075 to 1,290 ft. in length and including bays.
  5. (intransitive) To be or act different from the usual.
    I'm not comfortable with 3.Nc3 in the Caro-Kann, so I decided to vary and play exd5.
  6. (transitive) To make of different kinds; to make different from one another; to diversity; to variegate.
  7. (transitive, music) To embellish; to change fancifully; to present under new aspects, as of form, key, measure, etc. See variation.
  8. (intransitive, obsolete) To disagree; to be at variance or in dissension.
    • 1623, John Webster, The Devil's Law Case
      the rich jewel which we vary for

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun[edit]

vary (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) alteration; change.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Czech[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

vary

  1. nominative/accusative/vocative/instrumental plural of var

Malagasy[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *bəʀas, from Proto-Austronesian *bəʀas.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

vary

  1. rice ((raw) seeds used as food)