adv.1. in a high degree; extremely; exceedingly: A giant is very tall.2. (used as an intensive emphasizing superlatives or stressing identity or oppositeness): the very best thing; in the very same place as before.adj.3. precise; particular: That is the very item we want.4. mere: The very thought of it is distressing.5. sheer; utter: He wept from the very joy of knowing he was safe.6. actual: He was caught in the very act of stealing.7. being such in the true or fullest sense of the term; extreme: the very heart of the matter.8. true; genuine; worthy of being called such: the very God; a very fool.9. rightful or legitimate.[1200-50; ME < AF; OF verai (F vrai) < VL *veracus, for L verax truthful, equiv. to ver(us) true (c. OE waer, G wahr true, correct) + -ax adj. suffix]Syn. 5. pure, simple, plain.Usage. Past participles that have become established as adjectives can, like most English adjectives, be modified by the adverb VERY: a very driven person; We were very concerned for your safety. VERY does not modify past participles that are clearly verbal; for example, The lid was very sealed is not an idiomatic construction, while The lid was very tightly sealed is. Sometimes confusion arises over whether a given past participle is adjectival and thus able to be modified by VERY without an intervening adverb. However, there is rarely any objection to the use of this intervening adverb, no matter how the past participle is functioning. Such use often occurs in edited writing: We were very much relieved to find the children asleep. They were very greatly excited by the news. I feel very badly cheated.
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