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 (vâr′ē-əs, văr′-)
a. Of diverse kinds: unable to go for various reasons.
b. Unlike; different: flowers as various as the rose, the daisy, and the iris.
2. Being more than one; several: She spoke to various members of the club.
3. Varied in nature or character; not uniform: "The war with Scotland ... was conducted feebly, and with various success" (David Hume).
pron. (used with a pl. verb) Usage Problem
Several different people or things.

[From Latin varius.]

var′i·ous·ly adv.
var′i·ous·ness n.
Usage Note: The quantifier various normally modifies a noun directly (as in various members), but at least since the early twentieth century it has also sometimes been used before prepositional phrases starting with of; George Orwell's influential 1946 essay "Politics and the English Language," for instance, refers to "various of the mental vices from which we now suffer." When we first balloted the various of construction in 1967, 91 percent of the Usage Panel found it unacceptable. As recently as 1999, 87 percent disapproved of the sentence Various of the committee members spoke out against the measure. By 2013, the disapproval rate for this same sentence had dipped to 76 percent, with an even lower disapproval rate (46 percent) for a sentence that included the phrase ownership of the lake and various of its tributaries. Linguistically, the various of construction appears defensible, being analogous to similar constructions based on the quantifiers few, many, and several. Besides, one might argue that the lake and various of its tributaries has a slightly different meaning from the lake and various tributaries of it; the former makes the scope of the larger set (the lake's tributaries) seem more definite, while the latter implies that its scope is indeterminate, unknown, or unimportant. But given that the use of various as a direct modifier is completely standard whereas the various of construction is still controversial, it may be advisable to avoid various of except when you want to give emphasis to the specific larger set that the "various" things are part of.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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The quality of being made of many different elements, forms, kinds, or individuals:
Biology: polymorphism.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The book "is structured not as a scholarly guide but as a presentation of the variousness of Mary Norris' Greek experiences held together by stretches of prose devoted, on the one hand, to her memories of early family life in Irish Catholic Cleveland and, on the other, to life on the copy desk at The New Yorker.
His celebration of the unacknowledged variousness and quality of northern writing past and present almost suggests "Against Dourness" as an alternative title.
Trilling viewed literature as central to this project because its expression of "variousness, possibility, complexity, and difficulty" (2008, xxi) offered a necessary check on ideological rationalizations and utopian impulses.
The fantastical interwar gardens at Ditchley Park, Garsington and Port Lympne lead on to a brief disquisition on fashionable white interiors, which in their variousness of hue were the antithesis of Le Corbusier's 'Law of Ripolin' (the architect argued for all buildings to be painted brilliant white).
Slabs of text from medicine packets and abortion clinic leaflets add to a sense of overwhelming variousness of historical and literary experience -- a pack of cards threatening to bury would-be writer Alice, who is "starting to consider really rather seriously whether former choirgirl from Massachusetts might be capable of conjuring the consciousness of a Muslim man".
"I don't really believe one exists," he writes early on in the new book, "nor would I want one." Sublime Physick instead ennobles and elevates variousness, disunity.
The variousness of systemic therapy used to treat pyoderma gangrenosum shows the difficulty of managing this disorder and the lack of uniform responses to treatment by the patients.
When we began watching the show we had never been there, and I would be lying if I said that we did not enjoy the inevitable well-composed shots of the "dreaming spires." But we were also intrigued by the show's constant reminders that the famous and ancient colleges are only a relatively small, if disproportionately influential, part of the city's fabric, and that Oxford as a whole has the social variousness and criminal pathologies that all other cities have.
How to sort through its stylistic shifts, its post-medium-specific mutability, its disorienting variousness? How to define painting's boundaries?
But Jones's soldiers talk, talk, talk against the tide of anonymity that was one of the consequences of the Consensus era's preoccupation with uniformity in goods, services, and standards; they mount a verbal barrage of narrative insistence on their dual right to speak and be heard; they throw into relief the variousness and complexity of the men in the uniform; they never shut up even, ironically, when their experience of external catastrophe threatens to permanently silence them physically or psychologically.
This wild variousness is threatened, of course by the same free-market energies that made it possible.
The lutenist depends on his superior "study" (136), using "curiosity," "cunning" (141) and the variousness of "concord in discord" (142) to create "one full centre of delight" (143).