1. A Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American unit of linear measure varying from about 81 to 109 centimeters (32 to 43 inches).
2. A square vara.
[Spanish and Portuguese, rod, both from Latin vāra, forked pole, from vārus, bent.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.