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From Middle French varieté, from Latin varietās (difference, diversity), from varius (different, various); see various.



variety (countable and uncountable, plural varieties)

  1. The quality of being varied; diversity.
    Variety is the spice of life.
  2. A specific variation of something.
  3. A number of different things.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      One morning I had been driven to the precarious refuge afforded by the steps of the inn, after rejecting offers from the Celebrity to join him in a variety of amusements. But even here I was not free from interruption, for he was seated on a horse-block below me, playing with a fox terrier.
    • 2013 January 1, Katie L. Burke, “Ecological Dependency”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 1, page 64:
      In his first book since the 2008 essay collection Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature, David Quammen looks at the natural world from yet another angle: the search for the next human pandemic, what epidemiologists call “the next big one.” His quest leads him around the world to study a variety of suspect zoonoses—animal-hosted pathogens that infect humans.
  4. A state of constant change.
  5. (taxonomy) A rank in a taxonomic classification, below species and subspecies.
  6. (cybernetics) The total number of distinct states of a system.
  7. (cybernetics) Logarithm of the base 2 of the total number of distinct states of a system.
  8. (linguistics) A term used for a specific form of a language, neutral to whether that form is a dialect, accent, register, etc. and to its prestige level.
  9. (algebra, esp. universal algebra) The class of all algebraic structures of a given signature satisfying a given set of identities.
  10. The kind of theatrical entertainment given in variety shows.
  11. The production of, or performance in, variety shows.



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