An adjective which seems to related originally to colors:
Varied in appearance or color; marked with patches or spots of different colors; varied; diversified; diverse.
It seems to just be another way to state “varied,” perhaps with more emphasis on a series of discrete states or gradients.
Found in the book The Organized Mind in a discussion of “In-Group/Out-Group” bias, which is the concept where we find numerous variations of those people in our “in-group,” but we tend to view the “out-group” as a single, monolithic block. The example from the book:
Oh Democrats are a very diverse group – we come from all walks of life. Oh those Republicans – all they care about is lower taxes. They’re all alike.
And the usage of the word…
In cases on in-group/out-group bias, each group thinks of the other as homogeneous and monolithic, and each group views itself as variegated and complex.