American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The quality or condition of being various or varied; diversity.
- n. A number or collection of varied things, especially of a particular group; an assortment: brought home a variety of snacks.
- n. A group that is distinguished from other groups by a specific characteristic or set of characteristics.
- n. Biology A taxonomic subdivision of a species consisting of naturally occurring or selectively bred populations or individuals that differ from the remainder of the species in certain minor characteristics.
- n. Biology An organism, especially a plant, belonging to such a subdivision.
- n. A variety show.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In agriculture and horticulture, a group of cultivated plants which have the same characteristics. All plants which have been widely cultivated have given rise to many different forms and these are in general known as varieties. Illustrations are the varieties of strawberries, apples, corn, wheat, cotton, etc. ‘Variety,’ in this sense, is thus a generic word including races, strains, and clons. See race, 5 , strain, 1 , and clon.
- n. In petrography, in the quantitative classification of igneous rocks (see rock), a division of a mode which recognizes the presence of subordinate mineral components.
- n. The state or character of being varied or various; intermixture of different things, or of things different in form, or a succession of different things; diversity; multifariousness; absence of monotony or uniformity; dissimilitude.
- n. Exhibition of different characteristics by one individual; many-sidedness; versatility.
- n. Variation; deviation; change.
- n. A collection of different things; a varied assortment.
- n. Something differing from others of the same general kind; one of many things which agree in their general features; a sort; a kind: as, varieties of rock, of wood, of land, of soil; to prefer one variety of cloth to another.
- n. In biology, with special reference to classification: A subspecies; a subdivision of a species; an individual animal or plant which differs, or collectively those individuals which differ, from the rest of its or their species, in certain recognizable particulars which are transmissible, and constant to a degree, yet which are not specifically distinctive, since they intergrade with the characters of other members of the same species; a race, especially a climatic or geographical race which arises without man's interference. See species, 5. As the biological conception of species excludes the notion of special creation, or of any original fixation of specific distinctions, so the same conception regards varieties as simply nascent species which may or may not be established; if established, varieties have become species in the process, as soon as the steps of that process are obliterated. A variety has in itself the making of a species, and all species are supposed to have thus been made. The distinction being always in degree only, and never in kind, the actual recognition of both varieties and species for the purposes of classification, nomenclature, and description is largely a matter of tact and experience. See
- n. A specific variation of something
- n. A state of constant change
- n. taxonomy A rank in a taxonomic classification, below species and subspecies.
- n. cybernetics The total number of distinct states of a system.
- n. cybernetics Logarithm of the base 2 of the total number of distinct states of a system.
- n. linguistics a term used for a specific form of language, neutral to whether that form is a dialect, accent, register, etc. and to its prestige level.
- n. algebra The class of all algebraic structures of a given signature satisfying a given set of identities.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The quality or state of being various; intermixture or succession of different things; diversity; multifariousness.
- n. That which is various.
- n. A number or collection of different things; a varied assortment.
- n. Something varying or differing from others of the same general kind; one of a number of things that are akin; a sort.
- n. (Biol.) An individual, or group of individuals, of a species differing from the rest in some one or more of the characteristics typical of the species, and capable either of perpetuating itself for a period, or of being perpetuated by artificial means; hence, a subdivision, or peculiar form, of a species.
- n. In inorganic nature, one of those forms in which a species may occur, which differ in minor characteristics of structure, color, purity of composition, etc.
- n. (Theaters), Cant Such entertainment as in given in variety shows; the production of, or performance in, variety shows.
- n. a collection containing a variety of sorts of things
- n. a category of things distinguished by some common characteristic or quality
- n. noticeable heterogeneity
- n. a difference that is usually pleasant
- n. a show consisting of a series of short unrelated performances
- n. (biology) a taxonomic category consisting of members of a species that differ from others of the same species in minor but heritable characteristics
- From French varieté, from Latin varietās ("difference, diversity"), from varius ("different, various"); see various. (Wiktionary)
- French variété, from Old French, from Latin varietās, varietāt-, from varius, various. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The minds of the spectators, therefore, are oppressed and distracted by the variety of _feelings_ which are excited, and their interest interrupted and dissipated, in some degree, from the _variety of objects_ which claim it.”
“We do have a move towards paternalism now, but he thinks “soft paternalism” of the Cass Sunstein variety is a pretty good idea.”
“The HD stuff, although limited in variety, is great.”
“The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience sake.”
“However, in order to recognize this principle it is necessary to limit the term variety, to those propagating themselves by seed and are of pure and not of hybrid origin.”
“This is a rule, which is very important for the general conception of the meaning of the term variety as contrasted with elementary species.”
“First, the term variety is applied in horticulture and agriculture to things so widely divergent as to convey no clear idea at all.”
“The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, and for mere convenience sake.”
“The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, and for mere convenience 'sake.”
“Although the most common banana variety is the curved, yellow Cavendish, other nutritious varieties include plantains, red bananas and finger bananas.”
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