Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

variance

play
noun var·i·ance \ˈver-ē-ən(t)s\

Simple Definition of variance

  • : an amount of difference or change

  • law : an official decision or document that allows someone to do something that is not usually allowed by the rules

Full Definition of variance

  1. 1 :  the fact, quality, or state of being variable or variant :  difference, variation <yearly variance in crops>

  2. 2 :  the fact or state of being in disagreement :  dissension, dispute

  3. 3 :  a disagreement between two parts of the same legal proceeding that must be consonant

  4. 4 :  a license to do some act contrary to the usual rule <a zoning variance>

  5. 5 :  the square of the standard deviation

at variance
  1. :  not in harmony or agreement

Examples of variance

  1. There was some variance in the results.

  2. We noticed a slight variance between the quality of the samples.

  3. He had to get a variance to add a garage on to his house.



14th Century

First Known Use of variance

14th century

Synonym Discussion of variance

discord, strife, conflict, contention, dissension, variance mean a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony. discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism <a political party long racked by discord>. strife emphasizes a struggle for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the persons or things involved <during his brief reign the empire was never free of civil strife>. conflict usually stresses the action of forces in opposition but in static applications implies an irreconcilability as of duties or desires <the conflict of freedom and responsibility>. contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy <several points of contention about the new zoning law>. dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions <religious dissension threatened to split the colony>. variance implies a clash between persons or things owing to a difference in nature, opinion, or interest <cultural variances that work against a national identity>.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up variance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds 16.96 pounds 100 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ