Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having great variety; diverse. See Synonyms at versatile.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having multiplicity; having great diversity or variety; of various kinds; diversified; made up of many differing parts; manifold.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having multiplicity; having great diversity or variety; of various kinds; diversified; made up of many differing parts; manifold.
  • adj. Having parts, as leaves, arranged in many vertical rows.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having great multiplicity; of great diversity or variety; made up of many differing parts.
  • In botany and zoology, arranged in many rows or ranks.
  • In law (of a pleading in equity), combining in the same bill of complaint distinct and separate claims of distinct natures or affecting different persons not connected therein, which ought to be made the subject of separate suits.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having many aspects

Etymologies

From Latin multifāriam, in many places : multi-, multi- + -fāriam, adv. suff.; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Tristram Shandy, for instance, is in multifarious ways a marvellous book, but it is written in a tone of such constant high-pitched zaniness, such deliberate "liveliness", that one finds oneself screaming at it to calm down a bit.

    Comedy in Literature

  • Yesterday's term was multifarious, which is defined as:

    Define That Term #10

  • Back in the USA, besides the Super Bowl, one weekend highlight is the multifarious celebration marking what would have been Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday.

    Looking ahead: Mubarak and Reagan

  • His connections with different musical worlds are multifarious: he's assisted Philip Glass, written a film score for Stephen Daldry and worked with Björk, as well as producing his own gleefully eclectic music which already covers a huge range of genres.

    This week's new live music

  • Perhaps it would be more accurate to call Gravity's Rainbow a "Menippean Satire," as a number of Pynchon scholars have pointed out, but one of the great accomplishments of the novel has been its ability to incorporate other and multifarious literary (and non-literary) forms without sacrificing its own integrity as an identifiable (if omni-directed) literary form in its own right.

    Postmodernism

  • The cast just needs to come to life and start distinguishing themselves otherwise they will fade into the background of a weighty, multifarious story that will to easily overpower such bland performances.

    23 « February « 2010 « Axiom's Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy

  • Developed first as a multifarious 3D model, this clean and well-suited stairway design brings a heavy touch of modernity to a simple, elegant interior space.

    Beautiful Hanging Stair

  • It seems both more fragile and more important an institution than it ever has been, more multifarious, more invented as it goes along, more necessary.

    An Interview with Sue Miller

  • All of which has led to a sound which can't be pinned down: in contrast to the way the rabid inventiveness of jungle got smoothed out into the orthodoxy of drum'n'bass in the mid-90s, grime remains multifarious and often deeply weird.

    Grime's still standing, better than anything

  • She is a working mother with multifarious business interests that include: Golf course design, wine, clothing, perfume and a golf academy for young players.

    Keeping Her Eye on the Ball

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