Definition of variorum in US English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Malone's work verges, in fact, on the encyclopedic: in his variorum edition he anticipates the modern collaborative online encyclopedias.’
    • ‘Fisher's great book has been reissued in a 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.

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


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