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French or Latin; French, from Latin versatilis turning easily, from versare to turn, frequentative of vertere


  • 1 : changing or fluctuating readily : variable <a versatile disposition>
  • 2 : embracing a variety of subjects, fields, or skills; also : turning with ease from one thing to another
  • 3 a (1) : capable of turning forward or backward : reversible <a versatile toe of a bird> (2) : capable of moving laterally and up and down <versatile antennae>
b of an anther : having the filaments attached at or near the middle so as to swing freely
  • 4 : having many uses or applications <versatile building material>