Definition of vary in English:



  • 1 Differ in size, amount, degree, or nature from something else of the same general class.

    ‘the properties vary in price’
    ‘varying degrees of success’
    • ‘There are a number of recognized subspecies that vary considerably in size.’
    • ‘At the moment, salaries vary on a regional basis.’
    • ‘As with residential property, prices vary considerably across the country.’
    • ‘Suicide rates vary greatly with age, gender and ethnicity.’
    • ‘Reform was not a single, uniform process: its pace and intensity varied from state to state.’
    • ‘Within sectors, water use can also vary dramatically depending on management practices.’
    • ‘When they do become evident, symptoms vary according to the type and location of the aneurysm.’
    • ‘From this brief survey, it is clear that farming was introduced in different ways, and with varying consequences, in different parts of the country.’
    • ‘The severity and frequency of attacks varies due to the extent of the disease.’
    • ‘Prices vary greatly depending on the time of year and type of accommodation.’
    • ‘Network reception for mobile phones varies depending on the area in which you are using the phone.’
    • ‘Effects of UV-B and temperature on pigment concentrations varied significantly with leaf age.’
    • ‘Having tried lots of different careers with varying success, I've found my vocation.’
    • ‘The strategies that victims use to cope with bullying also vary by gender.’
    • ‘The interest rates on most regular savings accounts will vary depending on the levels set by the Bank of England every three months.’
    • ‘The German mortgage market is quite fragmented and interest rates vary according to the type of mortgage lender.’
    • ‘For one thing, incomes vary widely depending on one's area of residence.’
    • ‘Do survival rates vary among species, sexes, or habitats?’
    • ‘Services also vary considerably in size, depending on the nature of their responsibilities.’
    • ‘The Direct Line research also shows the most popular home improvements vary by region.’
    differ, be different, be unlike, be dissimilar
    range, extend, stretch, reach, cover, go, run, pass
    fluctuate, rise and fall, go up and down, change, alter, shift, swing, waver, oscillate, see-saw, yo-yo
    varied, differing, different
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    1. 1.1 Change from one condition, form, or state to another.
      ‘your skin's moisture content varies according to climatic conditions’
      • ‘During the Spring months, the weather during the day varies from cool to warm and is usually cool at night.’
      • ‘Weather conditions during January have varied between Arctic and monsoon but the course has stood up well and all competitions are on schedule with no backlog.’
      • ‘Your blood pressure normally varies during the day.’
      • ‘There is often tinnitus at the same time, which can vary in severity.’
      • ‘Diving conditions vary, but the best visibility occurs early in the season before the plankton blooms of late summer.’
      • ‘Symptoms vary over time as a patient passes through different stages of the disease.’
      • ‘More exactly, the period over which the star varies is proportional to the star's intrinsic, actual brightness.’
      • ‘The weather can be changeable, varying between sunshine and snow.’
      • ‘The diving in the Sea of Cortez is unlike that anywhere else in the world because the conditions can vary so greatly from day to day.’
      • ‘The weather varied from blowing snow to clear skies and ensured all skiers were put through their paces.’
      • ‘The diagram below shows how demand for a commuter train service typically varies during the day.’
      • ‘They found that the beats of unhealthy hearts did vary more randomly.’
      • ‘A strong headwind would favour the heavier Oxford crew, but Hodge said wind conditions usually varied during a race.’
      • ‘Hay fever symptoms vary in severity and some people find their symptoms are worse some years than others.’
      • ‘However, the courts can insist that payments vary over time as circumstances change.’
      change, alter, deviate, diverge, depart, differ, fluctuate, move on
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    2. 1.2[with object] Introduce modifications or changes into (something) so as to make it different or less uniform.
      ‘he tried to vary his diet’
      • ‘After a couple of years, he switched to insulin injections, which meant he could vary his diet a bit more.’
      • ‘You can burn more calories by varying the pace of certain aerobic exercise.’
      • ‘He is a quick bowler, but at his best when he mixes up the pace and varies his length rather than being obsessed by sheer speed.’
      • ‘But we shouldn't just eat by reflex: it would be much healthier if we thought about our diets and tried to vary them more.’
      • ‘As a nice touch, Zoch includes two cork balls with different diameters which varies the skill level of the game significantly.’
      • ‘It has been found that instead of practicing one action repeatedly, it is better to vary the action continuously.’
      • ‘I'll wear each dress time and again, varying the look with different accessories.’
      • ‘Union members are angry at proposals by Stagecoach to vary pay between different depots.’
      • ‘However, the news agency can send different messages by varying the order.’
      diversify, variegate, bring variety to, assort, mix, enlarge, expand, widen, broaden, increase, proliferate, extend
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Middle English: from Old French varier or Latin variare, from varius diverse.