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Definition of variance
1 : the fact, quality, or state of being variable or variant : difference, variation yearly variance in crops
2 : the fact or state of being in disagreement : dissension, dispute
3 : a disagreement between two parts of the same legal proceeding that must be consonant
4 : a license to do some act contrary to the usual rule a zoning variance
5 : the square of the standard deviation
at variance
: not in harmony or agreement
Examples of variance in a Sentence
There was some variance in the results.
We noticed a slight variance between the quality of the samples.
He had to get a variance to add a garage on to his house.
Recent Examples of variance from the Web

However, facilities would be able to apply for a variance that could potentially exempt them from the requirements.

Chiptochip variance aside, the overclocking ceiling for the i97900X generally sits between 4.4GHz and 4.5GHz at around 1.22V.

And as Donald Trump’s Hyatt rose, so too did the hidden hand of his attorney Roy Cohn, always there to help with the shady tax abatements, the zoning variances, the sweetheart deals, and the threats to those who might stand in the project’s way.

And as Donald Trump’s Hyatt rose, so too did the hidden hand of his attorney Roy Cohn, always there to help with the shady tax abatements, the zoning variances, the sweetheart deals, and the threats to those who might stand in the project’s way.

Drury Development Corp. of St. Louis is requesting a zoning change and several other variances from the Arlington City Council.

Plank said if Centier had not sought the variance at a special meeting on Monday, the project would have been delayed.

Members of the city’s board of adjustment turned down Camping World’s variance request for a 40by80foot flag in 2015.

Another twoway player, Haseley is certain to follow the position path, but there’s a wide variance of viewpoints among experts.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'variance'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of MerriamWebster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of variance
Middle English variaunce “change, variety, discrepancy,” borrowed from AngloFrench variance, borrowed from Latin variantia, “diversity, variety,” from variant, varians ^{1}variant + ia ^{1}ia
Synonym Discussion of variance
Financial Definition of VARIANCE
variance
What It Is
Variance is a statistical measure of how much a set of observations differ from each other.
In accounting and financial analysis, variance also refers to how much an actual expense deviates from the budgeted or forecast amount.
How It Works
For example, let's say Company XYZ stock has the following prices:
The average of these prices is $21.33. To calculate the variance, we see how "far away" each day's stock price is from $21, like this:
Notice that some of the differences are negative. Because we're going to calculate the average difference, the negative numbers create a mathematical problem (they'll offset the positive numbers and screw up the calculation). To avoid this, we square each difference so that each difference is positive, like this:
The last step is simply calculating the average of those squared differences, which is $9.42, and then taking the square root of that number to get the amount by which Company XYZ stock tends to vary from its average price.
The square root is $3.07, meaning that when Company XYZ deviates from that $21 average, it tends to do so by about $3.07.
Why It Matters
Variance is a measure of volatility because it measures how much a stock tends to deviate from its mean. The higher the variance, the more wildly the stock fluctuates. Accordingly, the higher the variance, the riskier the stock.
VARIANCE Defined for English Language Learners
variance
playDefinition of variance for English Language Learners

: 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
Law Dictionary
variance
playLegal Definition of variance
1 : a disagreement between two documents or positions; especially : a disagreement between allegations (as in an indictment or complaint) and proof offered at trial that warrants an appropriate remedy (as a directed verdict or an acquittal) when prejudicial to the substantial rights of the defendant
2 : an authorization to do something contrary to the usual restriction a variance granted by a state agency; especially : permission for a use of real property that is prohibited by a zoning ordinance — see also unnecessary hardship — compare spot zoning
Learn More about variance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for variance Spanish Central: Translation of variance Nglish: Translation of variance for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of variance for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about variance
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