Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To undergo or show change.
  • intransitive verb To deviate from a standard or expectation.
  • intransitive verb To have a range of different qualities or amounts.
  • intransitive verb To make or cause changes in; modify or alter.
  • intransitive verb To give variety to; make diverse.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Alteration; change; variation.
  • To change; alter: as, to vary the conditions of an experiment.
  • To diversify: modify; relieve from uniformity or monotony.
  • To change to something else; transmute.
  • To make of different kinds; make diverse or different one from another.
  • To express variously; diversify in terms or forms of expression.
  • In music, to embellish or alter (a melody or theme) without really changing its identity. See variation, 9.
  • To alter or be altered in any manner; suffer a partial change; appear in different or various forms; be modified; be changeable.
  • To differ or be different; be unlike or diverse: as, the laws of different countries vary.
  • To become unlike one's self; undergo variation, as in purpose or opinion.
  • To deviate; depart; swerve.
  • To alter or change in succession; foliow alternately; alternate.
  • To disagree; be at variance.
  • To turn out otherwise.
  • In math, analysis, to be subject to continual increase or decrease: as, a quantity conceived to vary, or have different values in the same equation.
  • In biology, to be varied or subject to variation, as by natural or artificial selection; exhibit variation. See variability, 2, variation, 8, and variety, 6.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Alteration; change.
  • transitive verb To change the aspect of; to alter in form, appearance, substance, position, or the like; to make different by a partial change; to modify
  • transitive verb To change to something else; to transmute; to exchange; to alternate.
  • transitive verb To make of different kinds; to make different from one another; to diversify; to variegate.
  • transitive verb (Mus.) To embellish; to change fancifully; to present under new aspects, as of form, key, measure, etc. See Variation, 4.
  • intransitive verb To alter, or be altered, in any manner; to suffer a partial change; to become different; to be modified.
  • intransitive verb To differ, or be different; to be unlike or diverse.
  • intransitive verb To alter or change in succession; to alternate.
  • intransitive verb To deviate; to depart; to swerve; -- followed by from.
  • intransitive verb To disagree; to be at variance or in dissension.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To change with time or a similar parameter.
  • verb transitive To institute a change in, from a current state; to modify.
  • verb intransitive Not to remain constant: to change with time or a similar parameter.
  • verb intransitive To display differences.
  • verb intransitive To be or act different from the usual.
  • noun obsolete Alteration; change.

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

  • verb be subject to change in accordance with a variable
  • verb make something more diverse and varied
  • verb become different in some particular way, without permanently losing one's or its former characteristics or essence
  • verb be at variance with; be out of line with

Etymologies

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

[Middle English varien, to undergo change, from Old French varier, from Latin variāre, from varius, various.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

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