versatile

To describe a person or thing that can adapt to do many things or serve many functions, consider the adjective versatile.

In E.B. White's classic children's book Charlotte's Web, Charlotte the spider tells Wilbur the pig that she is versatile. "What does 'versatile' mean — full of eggs?" Wilbur asks. "Certainly not," Charlotte replies. "'Versatile' means I can turn with ease from one thing to another." Charlotte knew her etymology, because the word reflects its Latin root, versatilis, "turning around; revolving." It eventually came to describe someone who is multi-talented: a singer-songwriter-actress-model would be a versatile figure in the entertainment world.

Definitions of versatile
  1. adjective
    having great diversity or variety
    “his vast and versatile erudition”
    synonyms: various
    varied
    characterized by variety
  2. adjective
    able to move freely in all directions
    “an owl's versatile toe can move backward and forward”
    “an insect's versatile antennae can move up and down or laterally”
    “a versatile anther of a flower moves freely in the wind”
    Synonyms:
    mobile
    moving or capable of moving readily (especially from place to place)
  3. adjective
    competent in many areas and able to turn with ease from one thing to another
    “a versatile writer”
    Synonyms:
    skilled
    having or showing or requiring special skill
  4. adjective
    changeable or inconstant
    versatile moods”
    Synonyms:
    variable
    liable to or capable of change
Word Family
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