Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of very
Meaning of very by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English verray, verrai ( “true” ), from Old French verai ( “true” ) ( Modern French: vrai ), from assumed Vulgar Latin *vērācus, alteration of Latin vērāx ( “truthful” ), from Latin vērus ( “true” ), from Proto-Indo-European *wēr- ( “true, benevolent” ). Cognate with Old English wǣr ( “true, correct” ), Dutch waar ( “true” ), German wahr ( “true” ), Icelandic alvöru ( “earnest” ). Displaced native Middle English sore, sār ( “very” ) ( from Old English sār ( “grievous, extreme” ) ( Cf. German: sehr, Dutch: zeer ), Middle English wel ( “very” ) ( from Old English wel ( “well, very” ) ). More at warlock .


    • ( RP ) IPA: /ˈvɛɹɪ/, X-SAMPA: /"vEr\I/
    • ( UK, US ) IPA: /ˈvɛɹi/, X-SAMPA: /"vEr\i/
    • ( in accents without the "Mary, marry, merry" merger )
    • ( in accents with the "Mary, marry, merry" merger )
    • Hyphenation: ver‧y
    • Rhymes: -ɛri


    very ( comparative verier, superlative veriest )

    1. True, real, actual
      The fierce hatred of a very woman
      The very blood and bone of our grammar
    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 .
    3. With limiting effect: mere.


    very ( not comparable )

    1. to a great extent or degree; extremely; exceedingly
      You’re very tall .
    2. true, truly
      He tried his very best .

    Usage notes




Explanation of very by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. used as intensifiers

    2. she was very gifted
      he played very well
    3. precisely so

    4. on the very next page
      he expected the very opposite
    1. precisely as stated

    2. the very center of town
    3. being the exact same one

    4. on this very spot
      the very thing he said yesterday
      the very man I want to see

    Definition of very by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Very ( vĕr ), a. [Compar. Verier ( vĕrĭẽr ); superl. Veriest.] [OE. verai, verray, OF. verai, vrai, F. vrai, ( assumed ) LL. veracus, for L. verax true, veracious, fr. verus true; akin to OHG. & OS. wār, G. wahr, D. waar; perhaps originally, that is or exists, and akin to E. was. Cf. Aver, v. t., Veracious, Verdict, Verity.] True; real; actual; veritable.

      Whether thou be my very son Esau or not. Gen. xxvii. 21.

      He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. Prov. xvii. 9.

      The very essence of truth is plainness and brightness. Milton.

      I looked on the consideration of public service or public ornament to be real and very justice. Burke.

      ☞ Very is sometimes used to make the word with which it is connected emphatic, and may then be paraphrased by same, self-same, itself, and the like. “The very hand, the very words.” Shak. “The very rats instinctively have quit it.” Shak. “Yea, there where very desolation dwells.” Milton. Very is used occasionally in the comparative degree, and more frequently in the superlative. “Was not my lord the verier wag of the two?” Shak. “The veriest hermit in the nation.” Pope. “He had spoken the very truth, and transformed it into the veriest falsehood.” Hawthorne.

      Very Reverend. See the Note under Reverend.

    2. Very ( vĕr ), adv. In a high degree; to no small extent; exceedingly; excessively; extremely; as, “a very great mountain; a very bright sun; a very cold day; the river flows very rapidly; he was very much hurt”.