February 17, 2018
variety (noun)
\vuh-RYE-uh-tee\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : the quality or state of having different forms or types2 : a number or collection of different things : assortment3 a : something differing from others of the class to which it belongs b : any of various groups of plants or animals within a species that are separated from other groups by characteristics not constant enough or too unimportant to separate species
How do you use it?
"The ceiling of the hallway was very low-Gunther must have had to crouch when he used it for his treacherous plans-and over their heads the three children could hear a variety of noises that told them where the hallway was probably taking them." (Lemony Snicket, _The Ersatz Elevator_)
Are you a word wiz?

"Variety" is related through a Latin ancestor to a few other English words. We've listed three relatives below. Which one of the following words do you think is NOT related to "variety"?

Of the various answers, answer B is the right one. "Varsity" is an altered and shortened form of "university." Like "variety," however, "vary," "various," and "variegate" trace to the Latin "varius," meaning "various." "Variety" traveled from Latin and through French before finding its way into English in the 15th century. Of the other descendants of "varius," "vary" is the oldest, dating to the 14th century; "various" is about the same age as "variety"; and "variegate" is the youngest, having entered English in the mid-17th century.
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