variety

variety 1 Variety, diversity are comparable when they are used in reference to a group, class, or complex whole and denote the state or quality of being composed of different parts, elements, or individuals.
Variety may imply that the things which differ, whether they are fundamentally similar or completely dissimilar, are related because they contribute to the same end or play a part in the formation of the same whole
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his variety is to be praised . . . what is distressing ... is his style— Mailer

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most workers would prefer some variety in their work, but they cannot get it— Hobson

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Diversity, though often used interchangeably with variety, distinctively stresses the marked difference or divergence of the individuals, parts, or elements, and seldom suggests even a class or categorical likeness
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the practical reduction of human diversity to subhuman uniformity, of freedom to servitude— Huxley

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the moral and intellectual explosion needed ... to reestablish tolerance of qualitative diversity and intellectual freedom as the true basis of democracy— Julian Huxley

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the great diversity among human beings

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Analogous words: *dissimilarity, unlikeness, difference, divergence, divergency: multifariousness, variousness (see corresponding adjectives at MANY): miscellaneousness or miscellany, heterogeneousness or heterogeneity, assortedness or assortment (see corresponding adjectives at MISCELLANEOUS)
2 Variety, subspecies, race, breed, cultivar, strain, clone, stock are comparable when they mean a group of related plants or animals narrower in scope than a species. These terms tend to be variable in application and subject to confusing overlap in use, but all can carry distinctive implications.
Variety stresses deviation from a type; historically, it denotes an infraspecific category differing from the typical form of the species in characters that are too trivial or too inconstant to justify its separation as a distinct species. In modern use it is appropriately selected when it is desirable to call attention to such deviation without making any specific taxonomic suggestion or it may be used specifically of any such divergent group developed under human control (as by selective breeding, hybridization, and cultivation)
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an early variety of peach

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developing new varieties to meet special conditions

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Subspecies, which stresses subordinate status, is primarily a taxonomic term applicable to a morphologically distinguishable subdivision of a species that is geographically isolated but physiologically capable of interbreeding with other comparable subdivisions of the same species.
Race stresses common ancestry and differentiation based on readily discernible hereditary characters
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a race of albino mice

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As applied to the human species (Homo sapiens), race is a highly controversial term that basically denotes any of the primary subdivisions of recent man historically native to distinct parts of the world and distinguished by relatively fixed characters in physical type (as skin color, hair form, and skull shape)
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the Caucasoid race

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the Mongoloid race

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In more general use race may apply to either large or small groups within a species. Though often used as if interchangeable race and variety are not exactly correspondent; while they sometimes agree, they more often overlap in their reference, for race emphasizes a common descent, while variety stresses divergence from a type.
Breed can refer to a group within a species of animals or occasionally of plants the members of which presumably share a common ancestry and are visibly similar in most characters. More specifically breed refers to such a group (as Jersey cattle or beagle dogs) that has been developed under human control chiefly through selective breeding and the fixing of desired qualities.
Cultivar applies specifically to a race or breed of plants originated (as by selection or hybridization) under cultivation.
Strain, like variety, stresses difference, but it is more likely to be used of subdivisions of subdivisions (as subspecies, or especially breeds or varieties) than, as variety typically is, of primary subdivisions of the species. It is especially applicable when the distinguishing character is a physiological quality (as vigor, or yield, or virulence); the term may imply human control as a means of gaining this result (as through crossing or inbreeding) or it may imply chance variation
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the appearance of virulent and antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains

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or controlled conditions
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an improved strain of Golden Bantam corn

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superior milking strains have been developed in most dual-purpose breeds of cattle

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Clone is the most precisely delimited term of this set; it denotes all the individuals that constitute the asexually produced progeny of a single parent and are therefore genetically identical. Though applicable to organisms (as bacteria and protozoans)
that reproduce asexually in nature, it is used typically of economic plants that kre propagated by such means as dividing, budding, or grafting and in such use may come close to variety, race, or strain; thus, one can speak of the Baldwin variety of apple or the Baldwin clone.
Stock places emphasis upon community of origin and genetically close relationship in the group but its range of reference is not clearly defined. Often also it carries over from other senses of the word the notion of being a source or original
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culled out a vigorous stock from which he selected several clones

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the several stocks developed by inbreeding were crossed to gain hybrid vigor

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New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Variety — Va*ri e*ty, n.; pl. {Varieties}. [L. varietas: cf. F. vari[ e]t[ e]. See {Various}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The quality or state of being various; intermixture or succession of different things; diversity; multifariousness. [1913 Webster] Variety is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Variéty — Album par Rita Mitsouko Sortie avril 2007 Durée 54:00 (édition limitée) Producteur Mark Plati et Les Rita Mitsouko Label Six SARL / Because music …   Wikipédia en Français

  • variety — ► NOUN (pl. varieties) 1) the quality or state of being different or diverse. 2) (a variety of) a number of things of the same general class that are distinct in character or quality. 3) a thing which differs in some way from others of the same… …   English terms dictionary

  • variety — [və rī′ə tē] n. pl. varieties [Fr variété < L varietas] 1. the state or quality of being various or varied; absence of monotony or sameness 2. a different form of some thing, condition, or quality; sort; kind [varieties of cloth] 3. a number… …   English World dictionary

  • variety — [n1] difference array, assortment, change, collection, combo*, conglomeration, cross section, departure, discrepancy, disparateness, divergency, diversification, diversity, fluctuation, heterogeneity, incongruity, intermixture, many sidedness,… …   New thesaurus

  • variety — variety. См. раса. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

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