ver·sa·tile (vûrsə-təl, -tīl′)
1. Capable of doing many things competently.
2. Having varied uses or serving many functions: "The most versatile of vegetables is the tomato" (Craig Claiborne).
3. Variable or inconstant; changeable: a versatile temperament.
4. Biology Capable of moving freely in all directions, as the loosely attached anthers of certain flowers.
[Latin versātilis, from versātus, past participle of versāre, to turn; see wer-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
ver′sa·tili·ty (-tĭlĭ-tē), versa·tile·ness (-təl-nĭs, -tīl′-) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.