Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 7, 2020 is:
multifarious mul-tuh-FAIR-ee-us adjective
: having or occurring in great variety : diverse
“The word ‘fate,’ of course, did not help me, being inadequate to describe the sense of a multifarious, infinitely complex, dreamy yet purposeful universe which I had in mind—being altogether too singular a word….” — Fay Weldon, The Cloning of Joanna May, 1989
“Just Pictures speaks to the multifarious nature of imagery today, a quality that predates the internet and social media but is no doubt enhanced by them. At its core, the exhibition expresses the way in which photographs at once carry all kinds of meanings that we project onto them, and no one meaning at all.” — Megan Williams, Creative Review, 25 Sept. 2020
Did you know?
Before the late 16th-century appearance of multifarious, there was another word similar in form and meaning being used: multifary, meaning “in many ways,” appeared—and disappeared—in the 15th century. Before either of the English words existed, there was the Medieval Latin word multifarius, from Latin multifariam, meaning “in many places” or “on many sides.” Multi-, as you may know, is a combining form meaning “many.” A relative of multifarious in English is omnifarious (“of all varieties, forms, or kinds”), created with omni- (“all”) rather than multi-.