very
Pronunciation
  • (British, America) IPA: /ˈvɛɹi/

Adjective

very (not comparable)

  1. True, real, actual.
    The fierce hatred of a very woman.  The very blood and bone of our grammar.  He tried his very best.
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1, Act II, Scene 2,
      […] I am the veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Book of Genesis 27:21,
      And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
    • 1641, John Milton, Of Reformation Touching Church-Discipline in England, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1916, pp. 32-33,
      The very essence of truth is plainnesse, and brightnes; the darknes and crookednesse is our own.
    • 1659, Henry Hammond, A Paraphrase and Annotations upon All the Books of the New Testament, London: Richard Davis, 2nd edition, The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, Chapter 3, verse 19, p. 517,
      […] they that think to be wiser then other men, are by so much verier fools then others, and so are discerned to be.
    • 1796, Edmund Burke, A Letter from the Right Honourable Edmund Burke to a Noble Lord, on the Attacks Made upon Him and His Pension, London: J. Owen and F. & C. Rivington, p. 30,
      I looked on the consideration of publick service, or publick ornament, to be real and very justice: and I ever held, a scanty and penurious justice to partake of the nature of a wrong.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter III, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384 ↗:
      Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
  2. The same; identical.
    He proposed marriage in the same restaurant, at the very table where they first met.  That's the very tool that I need.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., […], OCLC 752825175 ↗:
      Molly the dairymaid came a little way from the rickyard, and said she would pluck the pigeon that very night after work. She was always ready to do anything for us boys; and we could never quite make out why they scolded her so for an idle hussy indoors. It seemed so unjust. Looking back, I recollect she had very beautiful brown eyes.
  3. With limiting effect: mere.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 40, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book I, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      We have many examples in our daies, yea in very children, of such as for feare of some slight incommoditie have yeelded unto death.
Synonyms Translations
Adverb

very (not comparable)

  1. To a great extent or degree.
    Synonyms: greatly, drastically, extremely
    You’re drinking very slowly.
    That dress is very you.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter II, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546 ↗; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., […], [1933], OCLC 2666860 ↗, page 0091 ↗:
      Then his sallow face brightened, for the hall had been carefully furnished, and was very clean. ¶ There was a neat hat-and-umbrella stand, and the stranger's weary feet fell soft on a good, serviceable dark-red drugget, which matched in colour the flock-paper on the walls.
  2. Conforming to fact, reality or rule; true.
    Synonyms: truly, actually, authentically
  3. (with superlatives) ngd Used to firmly establish that nothing else surpasses in some respect.
    He was the very best runner there.
Synonyms Translations Translations


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