WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
va•ri•e•ty /vəˈraɪɪti/USA pronunciation   n., pl.  -ties. 
  1. the state of being diversified or different:[uncountable]He needed variety in his diet.
  2. a number of different types of things, esp. ones in the same general category:[countable;  usually singular]a large variety of foods to choose from.
  3. a kind, sort, or type:[countable]different varieties of apples.
  4. Show Business[countable] Also called  vaˈri•e•ty ˌshow. an entertainment made up of a series of brief performances, as of singing, dancing, and comedy.
See -var-.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
va•ri•e•ty  (və rīi tē),USA pronunciation n., pl.  -ties, adj. 
  1. the state of being varied or diversified:to give variety to a diet.
  2. difference;
  3. a number of different types of things, esp. ones in the same general category:a large variety of fruits.
  4. a kind or sort.
  5. a different form, condition, or phase of something:varieties of pastry; a variety of economic reforms.
  6. a category within a species, based on some hereditary difference.
  7. a type of animal or plant produced by artificial selection.
  8. Stamps[Philately.]a stamp differing from others of the same issue through an accident other than an error of an artist or printer. Cf.  error (def. 8), freak 1 (def. 5).
  9. Show BusinessAlso called  variety show′. entertainment of mixed character, consisting of a number of individual performances or acts, as of singing, dancing, or skits. Cf.  vaudeville (def. 1).

  1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a variety:a variety performer.
  • Latin varietās, equivalent. to vari(us) various + -etās, variant of -itās -ity after a vowel
  • 1525–35
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged diversity, multiplicity.
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged assortment, collection, group.
    • 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged kind, sort, class, species.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged sameness.
    3, 5. As a collective noun, variety, when preceded by a, is often treated as a plural:A variety of inexpensive goods are sold here.When preceded by the, it is usually treated as a singular:The variety of products is small.See also  collective noun, number. 

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

variety /vəˈraɪɪtɪ/ n ( pl -ties)
  1. the quality or condition of being diversified or various
  2. a collection of unlike things, esp of the same general group; assortment
  3. a different form or kind within a general category; sort: varieties of behaviour
  4. a race whose distinct characters are insufficient to justify classification as a separate species; a subspecies
  5. a strain of animal or plant produced by artificial breeding
  6. entertainment consisting of a series of short unrelated performances or acts, such as comedy turns, songs, dances, sketches, etc
  7. (as modifier): a variety show
Etymology: 16th Century: from Latin varietās, from various

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