independent variable


Definition of independent variable

: a mathematical variable that is independent of the other variables in an expression or function and whose value determines one or more of the values of the other variables

Examples of independent variable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This property, where the change in value of a variable (its derivative) is proportional to itself for a unit change in an independent variable, is characteristic of an exponential curve. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Natural Law and Elegant Math’," 17 Jan. 2020 So awareness is something that's the independent variable. CBS News, "Transcript: Chris Krebs talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 26 June 2019 But since the league tables themselves are one of its main determinants, reputation is not an obviously independent variable. The Economist, "How global university rankings are changing higher education," 17 May 2018 Whatever variation remains driven by independent variables of interest suggests a protest vote. Elizabeth R. Nugent, Washington Post, "How did voters register their protest in Egypt’s presidential election?," 16 Apr. 2018 The only real deficit comes on the glass; the defensive rebounding issues that plagued Atlanta for years followed Horford to Boston, isolating the independent variable involved. Ben Golliver And Rob Mahoney,, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2018: Nos. 30-11," 13 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'independent variable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of independent variable

1816, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about independent variable

Time Traveler for independent variable

Time Traveler

The first known use of independent variable was in 1816

See more words from the same year

Statistics for independent variable

Last Updated

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Independent variable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on independent variable

Britannica English: Translation of independent variable for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about independent variable

Comments on independent variable

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of probity?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!