VARI'ETY, n. [L. varietas, from vario, to vary.]

1. Intermixture of different things, or of things different in form; or a succession of different things.

Variety is nothing else but a continued novelty.

The variety of colors depends on the composition of light.

2. One thing of many which constitute variety. In this sense, it has a plural; as the varieties of a species.

3. Difference; dissimilitude.

There is a variety in the tempers of good men.

4. Variation; deviation; change from a former state. [Little used.]

5. Many and different kinds. The shopkeeper has a great variety of cottons and silks.

He wants to do a variety of good things.

6. In natural history, a difference not permanent or invariable, but occasioned by an accidental change; as a variety of any species of plant.

Naturalists formerly erred very much in supposing an accidental variety of plants, animals or minerals, to be a distinct species. Ray has established a good test for varieties in botany. A plant is distinct, which propagates itself in its own form by its seed; but when the difference disappears in the new plant, it is only a variety. Variety then is a difference between individuals, not permanent nor important enough to constitute a distinct species; such as in size, color, fullness, curling, &c.

7. Different sort; as varieties of soil or land.