n. pl. va·ri·e·ties
1. The quality or condition of being various or varied; diversity: We need to add some variety to the program.
2. A number or collection of varied things, especially of a particular group; an assortment: brought home a variety of snacks.
a. Something that is distinguished from others of the same kind by a specific characteristic or set of characteristics: varieties of minerals; varieties of socialism.
b. A form of a language that is used by a specific social group and differs from forms used by other social groups: regional varieties of English.
c. Biology A taxonomic subdivision of a species or subspecies consisting of a group of naturally occurring or selectively bred individuals that differ from other individuals of the species in certain minor characteristics.
4. A variety show.
[French variété, from Old French, from Latin varietās, varietāt-, from varius, various.]
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.