• (British, America) IPA: /ˈvɛɹi/


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

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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