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vary between (someone or something)
1. To alternate between two or more different options, choices, or possibilities. I keep varying between graphite and ink for my drawings. The senator keeps varying between wildly different tones during his campaign—one moment he's making tearful emotional appeals, and the next he's spewing the most hateful vitriol against his opponents.
2. To alternate or fluctuate between two or more different states or conditions. The weather around here varies between cloudy and rainy—not a lot of sun in these parts.
3. To change or differ between two or more people, things, or groups. Reception of the proposed legislation has varied between demographics but has largely been positive. Specific laws will vary between one country and another, so you'll want to look into it before your trip across Europe this summer.
vary from (someone or something)
1. To differ from or be at odds with someone or something else. Our findings vary from the Pentagon's official report. The behavior of bees sprayed with the neurochemical vary drastically from that of unaffected bees.
2. To be different between two or more people, things, or groups. Reception of the proposed legislation varies from person to person, but the overall consensus is that it is the right step for the country. Certain traffic laws on vary widely from one state to another.
3. To change or alter from one state to another. Reactions to the film have varied from mild dislike to intense hatred. The weather in this part of the country can vary from cold rain to warm sunshine in the space of an hour.
See also: vary
To alter, change, or adjust some variable factor, aspect, or element of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "vary" and "up." I'd like to start varying up the dinners we make each week—we've been getting stuck in a routine of making the same stuff. You should vary your workout up if you want to really improve your body.
vary with (something)
1. To differ from or be at odds with something else. Our findings vary with the Pentagon's official report. We need to figure out why your answers vary with those of the textbook.
2. To become different based on or according to some determining factor. A person's reaction to this medication will vary with age. The tone of my writing tends to vary with how happy I am in a given moment.
See also: vary
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
To change the variables associated with something: The cafeteria varied up its menu with a new kind of sandwich. You've worn the same blue sweater all week—why not vary it up and wear something new?
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.