Definition of variorum in US English:



  • 1(of an edition of an author's works) having notes by various editors or commentators.

    • ‘Fisher's great book has been reissued in a variorum edition.’
    • ‘Malone's work verges, in fact, on the encyclopedic: in his variorum edition he anticipates the modern collaborative online encyclopedias.’
    • ‘The numbers in parentheses are those assigned by Thomas H. Johnson, editor of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, to the poems in the 1955 variorum edition.’
    1. 1.1 Including variant readings from manuscripts or earlier editions.
      • ‘The necessary antithesis of the clean, facsimile page is therefore the riotous variorum page where perhaps only a single line of primary text remains.’


  • A variorum edition.

    • ‘I once noted the oddity that Hardy had two variorums and no concordance, while Hopkins had two concordances and no variorum.’
    • ‘Though one does not usually think of scholarly variorums as narratives, they in fact are.’


Early 18th century: genitive plural of varius ‘diverse’, from Latin editio cum notis variorum ‘edition with notes by various (commentators)’.