General English

General Science

  • noun a number of different things
  • noun a type of something


  • noun a named cultivated plant


  • noun different types of things


  • Refers to the multiplicity of differentiated products that are available in some industries, a multiplicity that tends to become larger with trade.


  • In Britain, a type of popular entertainment that developedfrom music hall in the late 19th century. It was characterizedby the presence of diverse acts on the same bill. In America the termwas used more or less synonymously with vaudeville.

    The variety era saw the replacement of the earlier halls andclubs, in which the audience had been able to eat, drink, and smokewhile being entertained, with specially built variety theaters. Thesewere more comfortable, more expensive, and more respectable, lackingmuch of the old boisterous atmosphere. The entertainment was oftenspectacular, with the Hippodrome offering aquatic dramasand the London Coliseum presenting chariot races. The famousAlhambra Music Hall in London became the Alhambra Palaceof Varieties.

    The continuous programmes of the old music halls, which oftenran to midnight, were replaced by twice-nightly bills that combinedsongs, comedians, ballet, spectacle, and short dramatic 'snippets'that ran for less than 30 minutes. The popularity of these dramaticpieces even attracted such stars of the legitimate theater as BeerbohmTree and Sarah Bernhardt. In 1918 Diaghilev's BalletsRusses company appeared at the Coliseum on the same bill as jugglersand comedians. With the advent of talking pictures, many variety theaterswere converted into cinemas; however, the variety tradition continued atsuch major venues as the London Palladium and found a new platformwith the coming of TV.


  • noun a mixture of different sorts