Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Variolite noun [ Latin varius various + -lite : confer French variolite .] (Geol.) A kind of diorite or diabase containing imbedded whitish spherules, which give the rock a spotted appearance.

Variolitic adjective [ From Variola .]


1. Thickly marked with small, round specks; spotted.

2. (Geol.) Of, pertaining to, or resembling, variolite.

Varioloid adjective [ Variola + -oid : confer French varioloïde .] (Medicine) Resembling smallpox; pertaining to the disease called varioloid.

Varioloid noun [ Confer French varioloïde . See Varioloid , adjective ] (Medicine) The smallpox as modified by previous inoculation or vaccination.

» It is almost always a milder disease than smallpox, and this circumstance, with its shorter duration, exhibits the salutary effects of previous vaccination or inoculation. Dunglison.

Variolous adjective [ Late Latin variolosus , from variola the smallpox: confer French varioleux .] (Medicine) Of or pertaining to the smallpox; having pits, or sunken impressions, like those of the smallpox; variolar; variolic.

Variometer noun [ Latin varius various + -meter .] (Electricity) An instrument for comparing magnetic forces, esp. in the earth's magnetic field.

Variorum adjective [ Latin , abbrev. from cum notis variorum with notes of various persons.] Containing notes by different persons; -- applied to a publication; as, a variorum edition of a book.

Various adjective [ Latin varius . Confer Vair .]


1. Different; diverse; several; manifold; as, men of various names; various occupations; various colors.

So many and so various laws are given.
Milton.

A wit as various , gay, grave, sage, or wild.
Byron.

2. Changeable; uncertain; inconstant; variable.

A man so various , that he seemed to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome.
Dryden.

The names of mixed modes . . . are very various .
Locke.

3. Variegated; diversified; not monotonous.

A happy rural seat of various view.
Milton.

Variously adverb In various or different ways.

Variscite noun [ So called from Variscia in Germany.] (Min.) An apple-green mineral occurring in reniform masses. It is a hydrous phosphate of alumina.

Varisse noun [ Confer French varice varix. Confer Varix .] (Far.) An imperfection on the inside of the hind leg in horses, different from a curb, but at the same height, and frequently injuring the sale of the animal by growing to an unsightly size. Craig.

Varix noun ; plural Varices . [ Latin ]


1. (Medicine) A uneven, permanent dilatation of a vein.

» Varices are owing to local retardation of the venous circulation, and in some cases to relaxation of the parietes of the veins. They are very common in the superficial veins of the lower limbs. Dunglison.

2. (Zoology) One of the prominent ridges or ribs extending across each of the whorls of certain univalve shells.

» The varices usually indicate stages of growth, each one showing a former position of the outer lip of the aperture.

Vark noun [ Dutch varken a pig.] (Zoology) The bush hog, or boshvark.

Varlet noun [ Old French varlet , vaslet , vallet , servant, young man, young noble, dim of vassal . See Vassal , and confer Valet .]


1. A servant, especially to a knight; an attendant; a valet; a footman. [ Obsolete] Spenser. Tusser.

2. Hence, a low fellow; a scoundrel; a rascal; as, an impudent varlet .

What a brazen-faced varlet art thou !
Shak.

3. In a pack of playing cards, the court card now called the knave , or jack . [ Obsolete]

Varletry noun [ Confer Old French valeterie the young unmarried nobles.] The rabble; the crowd; the mob.

Shall they hoist me up,
And show me to the shouting varletry
Of censuring Rome.
Shak.

Varnish noun [ Middle English vernish , French vernis , Late Latin vernicium ; akin to French vernir to varnish, from (assumed) Late Latin vitrinire to glaze, from Late Latin vitrinus glassy, from Latin vitrum glass. See Vitreous .]


1. A viscid liquid, consisting of a solution of resinous matter in an oil or a volatile liquid, laid on work with a brush, or otherwise. When applied the varnish soon dries, either by evaporation or chemical action, and the resinous part forms thus a smooth, hard surface, with a beautiful gloss, capable of resisting, to a greater or less degree, the influences of air and moisture.

» According to the sorts of solvents employed, the ordinary kinds of varnish are divided into three classes: spirit , turpentine , and oil varnishes. Encyc. Brit

2. That which resembles varnish, either naturally or artificially; a glossy appearance.

The varnish of the holly and ivy.
Macaulay.

3. An artificial covering to give a fair appearance to any act or conduct; outside show; gloss.

And set a double varnish on the fame
The Frenchman gave you.
Shak.

Varnish tree (Botany) , a tree or shrub from the juice or resin of which varnish is made, as some species of the genus Rhus , especially R. vernicifera of Japan. The black varnish of Burmah is obtained from the Melanorrhœa usitatissima , a tall East Indian tree of the Cashew family. See Copal , and Mastic .

Varnish transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Varnished ; present participle & verbal noun Varnishing .] [ Confer French vernir , vernisser . See Varnish , noun ]


1. To lay varnish on; to cover with a liquid which produces, when dry, a hard, glossy surface; as, to varnish a table; to varnish a painting.

2. To cover or conceal with something that gives a fair appearance; to give a fair coloring to by words; to gloss over; to palliate; as, to varnish guilt. "Beauty doth varnish age." Shak.

Close ambition, varnished o'er with zeal.
Milton.

Cato's voice was ne'er employed
To clear the guilty and to varnish crimes.
Addison.

Varnisher noun
1. One who varnishes; one whose occupation is to varnish.

2. One who disguises or palliates; one who gives a fair external appearance. Pope.

Varnishing noun The act of laying on varnish; also, materials for varnish.

Varsity noun Colloq. contr. of University .

Varsovienne noun [ French, prop. fem. of varsovien pertaining to Warsaw, from Varsovie Warsaw, Pol. Warszawa .] (a) A kind of Polish dance. (b) Music for such a dance or having its slow triple time characteristic strong accent beginning every second measure.

Vartabed noun [ Armen., a doctor, master, preceptor.] (Eccl.) A doctor or teacher in the Armenian church. Members of this order of ecclesiastics frequently have charge of dioceses, with episcopal functions.

Varuna (vȧ*ru"nȧ) noun [ Sanskrit Varuna .] (Hindu Myth.) The god of the waters; the Indian Neptune. He is regarded as regent of the west, and lord of punishment, and is represented as riding on a sea monster, holding in his hand a snaky cord or noose with which to bind offenders, under water.

Varus noun [ New Latin , from Latin , bent, grown inwards.] (Medicine) A deformity in which the foot is turned inward. See Talipes .

Varvel noun [ French vervelle .] In falconry, one of the rings secured to the ends of the jesses. [ Written also vervel .]

Varveled adjective Having varvels, or rings. [ Written also varvelled , and vervelled .]

» In heraldry, when the jesses attached to the legs of hawks hang loose, or have pendent ends with rings at the tips, the blazon is a hawk ( or a hawk's leg ) jessed and varveled .

Vary transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Varied ; present participle & verbal noun Varying .] [ Middle English varien , French varier , Latin variare , from varius various. See Various , and confer Variate .]


1. To change the aspect of; to alter in form, appearance, substance, position, or the like; to make different by a partial change; to modify; as, to vary the properties, proportions, or nature of a thing; to vary a posture or an attitude; to vary one's dress or opinions.

Shall we vary our device at will,
Even as new occasion appears?
Spenser.

2. To change to something else; to transmute; to exchange; to alternate.

Gods, that never change their state,
Vary oft their love and hate.
Waller.

We are to vary the customs according to the time and country where the scene of action lies.
Dryden.

3. To make of different kinds; to make different from one another; to diversity; to variegate.

God hath varied their inclinations.
Sir T. Browne.

God hath here
Varied his bounty so with new delights.
Milton.

4. (Mus.) To embellish; to change fancifully; to present under new aspects, as of form, key, measure, etc. See Variation , 4.

Vary intransitive verb
1. To alter, or be altered, in any manner; to suffer a partial change; to become different; to be modified; as, colors vary in different lights.

That each from other differs, first confess;
Next, that he varies from himself no less.
Pope.

2. To differ, or be different; to be unlike or diverse; as, the laws of France vary from those of England.

3. To alter or change in succession; to alternate; as, one mathematical quantity varies inversely as another.

While fear and anger, with alternate grace,
Pant in her breast, and vary in her face.
Addison.

4. To deviate; to depart; to swerve; -- followed by from ; as, to vary from the law, or from reason. Locke.

5. To disagree; to be at variance or in dissension; as, men vary in opinion.

The rich jewel which we vary for.
Webster (1623).

Vary noun Alteration; change. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Varying adjective & noun from Vary .

Varying hare (Zoology) , any hare or rabbit which becomes white in winter, especially the common hare of the Northern United States and Canada.

Vas noun ; plural Vasa . [ Latin , a vessel. See Vase .] (Anat.) A vessel; a duct.

Vascular adjective [ Latin vasculum a small vessel, dim. of vas vessel: confer French vasculaire . See Vase , and confer Vessel .]


1. (Biol.) (a) Consisting of, or containing, vessels as an essential part of a structure; full of vessels; specifically (Botany) , pertaining to, or containing, special ducts, or tubes, for the circulation of sap. (b) Operating by means of, or made up of an arrangement of, vessels; as, the vascular system in animals, including the arteries, veins, capillaries, lacteals, etc. (c) Of or pertaining to the vessels of animal and vegetable bodies; as, the vascular functions.

2. (Botany) Of or pertaining to the higher division of plants, that is, the phænogamous plants, all of which are vascular, in distinction from the cryptogams, which to a large extent are cellular only.

Vascular plants (Botany) , plants composed in part of vascular tissue, as all flowering plants and the higher cryptogamous plants, or those of the class Pteridophyta . Confer Cellular plants , Cellular . -- Vascular system (Botany) , the body of associated ducts and woody fiber; the fibrovascular part of plants. -- Vascular tissue (Botany) , vegetable tissue composed partly of ducts, or sap tubes. -- Water vascular system (Zoology) , a system of vessels in annelids, nemerteans, and many other invertebrates, containing a circulating fluid analogous to blood, but not of the same composition. In annelids the fluid which they contain is usually red, but in some it is green, in others yellow, or whitish.

Vascularity noun ; plural Vascularities (Biol.) The quality or state of being vascular.

Vasculose noun (Botany) One of the substances of which vegetable tissue is composed, differing from cellulose in its solubility in certain media.

Vasculum noun ; plural Vascula . [ Latin , a small vessel.]
1. (Botany) Same as Ascidium , noun , 1.

2. A tin box, commonly cylindrical or flattened, used in collecting plants.

Vase (vās or väz; 277) noun [ French vase ; confer Spanish & Italian vaso ; from Latin vas , vasum . Confer Vascular , Vessel .]
1. A vessel adapted for various domestic purposes, and anciently for sacrificial uses; especially, a vessel of antique or elegant pattern used for ornament; as, a porcelain vase ; a gold vase ; a Grecian vase . See Illust. of Portland vase , under Portland .

No chargers then were wrought in burnished gold,
Nor silver vases took the forming mold.
Pope.

2. (Architecture) (a) A vessel similar to that described in the first definition above, or the representation of one in a solid block of stone, or the like, used for an ornament, as on a terrace or in a garden. See Illust. of Niche . (b) The body, or naked ground, of the Corinthian and Composite capital; -- called also tambour , and drum .

» Until the time of Walker (1791), vase was made to rhyme with base ,, case , etc., and it is still commonly so pronounced in the United States. Walker made it to rhyme with phrase , maze , etc. Of modern English practice, Mr. A. J. Ellis (1874) says: " Vase has four pronunciations in English: vaz , which I most commonly say, is going out of use, väz I hear most frequently, vāz very rarely, and vās I only know from Cull's marking. On the analogy of case , however, it should be the regular sound."

3. (Botany) The calyx of a plant.

Vase clock (Art) A clock whose decorative case has the general form of a vase, esp. one in which there is no ordinary dial, but in which a part of a vase revolves while a single stationary indicator serves as a hand.

Vase-shaped adjective Formed like a vase, or like a common flowerpot.

Vasectomy (văs*ĕk"to*mȳ) noun [ Vas + -ecmoty .] (Surg.) Resection or excision of the vas deferens.

Vaseline noun [ Said by the manufacturer to be derived from German wasser water + Greek 'e`laion olive oil.] A yellowish translucent substance, almost odorless and tasteless, obtained as a residue in the purification of crude petroleum, and consisting essentially of a mixture of several of the higher members of the paraffin series. It is used as an unguent, and for various purposes in the arts. See the Note under Petrolatum . [ Written also vaselin .]

Vasiform adjective [ Latin vas a vessel + -form .] (Biol.) Having the form of a vessel, or duct.

Vasiform tissue (Botany) , tissue containing vessels, or ducts.

Vaso-inhibitory adjective (Physiol.) See Vasodilator .

Vasoconstrictor adjective (Physiol.) Causing constriction of the blood vessels; as, the vasoconstrictor nerves, stimulation of which causes constriction of the blood vessels to which they go. These nerves are also called vasohypertonic .

Vasodentine noun [ Latin vas a vessel + English dentine .] (Anat.) A modified form of dentine, which is permeated by blood capillaries; vascular dentine.

Vasodilator adjective [ Latin vas a vessel + dilator .] (Physiol.) Causing dilation or relaxation of the blood vessels; as, the vasodilator nerves, stimulation of which causes dilation of the blood vessels to which they go. These nerves are also called vaso-inhibitory , and vasohypotonic nerves, since their stimulation causes relaxation and rest.

Vasoformative adjective [ Latin vas a vessel + formative ] (Physiol.) Concerned in the development and formation of blood vessels and blood corpuscles; as, the vasoformative cells.

Vasomotor adjective [ Latin vas a vessel + motor that which moves from movere to move.] (Physiol.) Causing movement in the walls of vessels; as, the vasomotor mechanisms; the vasomotor nerves, a system of nerves distributed over the muscular coats of the blood vessels.

Vasomotor center , the chief dominating or general center which supplies all the unstriped muscles of the arterial system with motor nerves, situated in a part of the medulla oblongata; a center of reflex action by the working of which afferent impulses are changed into efferent, -- vasomotor impulses leading either to dilation or constriction of the blood vessels.