Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Very

Ver′y

(vĕr′y̆)
,
Adj.
[
Com
par.
Verier
(vĕr′ĭ-ẽr)
;
sup
erl.
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
,
Verb.
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
.

Ver′y

(vĕr′y̆)
,
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
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Very

VER'Y

,
Adj.
[L. verus.] True; real.
Whether thou be my very son Esau or not. Gen. 27.
He that repeateth a matter, separateth very friends.
Prov. 17.

VER'Y

,
adv.
As an adverb, or modifier of adjectives and adverbs, very denotes in a great degree, an eminent or high degree, but not generally the highest; as a very great mountain; a very bright sun; a very cold day; a very pernicious war; a very benevolent disposition; the river flows very rapidly.

Definition 2022


very

very

English

Adjective

very (not generally comparable, comparative verier, superlative veriest)

  1. True, real, actual.
    The fierce hatred of a very woman. The very blood and bone of our grammar. He tried his very best.
    • Bible, Genesis xxvii. 21
      whether thou be my very son Esau or not
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      The very essence of truth is plainness and brightness.
    • Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
      I looked on the consideration of public service or public ornament to be real and very justice.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, Nobody, chapter III:
      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.
    • 2012 November 7, Matt Bai, “Winning a Second Term, Obama Will Confront Familiar Headwinds”, in New York Times:
      The country’s first black president, and its first president to reach adulthood after the Vietnam War and Watergate, Mr. Obama seemed like a digital-age leader who could at last dislodge the stalemate between those who clung to the government of the Great Society, on the one hand, and those who disdained the very idea of government, on the other.
  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, Richard Jefferies, The Amateur Poacher, chapter1:
      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.

Synonyms

Translations

Adverb

very (not comparable)

  1. To a great extent or degree; extremely; exceedingly.
    You’re drinking very slowly.
    • 1915, Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, The Lodger, chapter II:
      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.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 13, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      […] They talk of you as if you were Croesus—and I expect the beggars sponge on you unconscionably. And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes.
  2. True, truly.
    He was the very best runner there.

Usage notes

  • When used in their senses as degree adverbs, "very" and "too" never modify verbs.

Synonyms

Translations

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: than · some · other · #67: very · upon · man · may

Anagrams


Middle English

Alternative forms

Etymology

Old French verai

Adjective

very (comparative verier)

  1. true

Quotations

For usage examples of this term, see Citations:very.

Adverb

very

  1. very