variant

adjective
var·​i·​ant | \ˈver-ē-ənt \

Definition of variant 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : manifesting variety, deviation, or disagreement

2 : varying usually slightly from the standard form variant readings variant spellings

3 obsolete : variable

variant

noun

Definition of variant (Entry 2 of 2)

: one of two or more persons or things exhibiting usually slight differences: such as

a : one that exhibits variation from a type or norm

b : one of two or more different spellings (such as labor and labour) or pronunciations (as of economics \ek-, ēk-\) of the same word

c : one of two or more words (such as geographic and geographical) or word elements (such as mon- and mono-) of essentially the same meaning differing only in the presence or absence of an affix

Examples of variant in a Sentence

Adjective

variant strains of a disease

Noun

A new variant of the disease has appeared.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

These cells were produced by making them express minimally variant human leukocyte antigen class E molecules. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Skin regeneration, universal donor stem cells and new SMA treatment approach," 15 May 2017 Prices can be widely variant from one side of town to the other, but stations that cluster near one another in areas of heavy traffic often compete closely on pricing. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, "Savings app Upside pits gas stations against one another," 2 Jan. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The aircraft, a two-month-old Boeing 737 Max 8, is a variant of one of the world’s most popular single-aisle jets. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "Lion Air Crash Is the Latest Setback for Indonesia’s Troubled Aviation Industry," 29 Oct. 2018 The Navy Osprey variant will take on a wider set of missions than those performed by a C-2. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Marines will fly Osprey until 2060, prepping the aircraft for future wars," 18 Sep. 2018 This is just the latest variant of a person of color — no less, a child of color — who has had the police called on them for doing something normal. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "A Mother Speaks Out After Someone Called the Cops on Her Son, an 11-Year-Old Black Paperboy," 12 July 2018 Covers for the series come from Santiago, with variant covers from Maan House and Joe Mulvey. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "Cult Noir Comic 'Spencer & Locke' Returns This Winter," 12 July 2018 There’s a rumor from Android Police that says the company is throwing caution to the wind and putting five cameras on its new phone, a device that will surely succeed where last year’s V30’s (and its V35 variant’s) paltry three cameras did not. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "LG says screw everything, we’re doing five cameras for the V40," 26 June 2018 Writing in 1960, the Dutch scholar Jacoba Hooykaas found child-stealing fairy or elf types were feared in Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Moravia, Greece, Lithuania, Bohemia and Hungary, with a modern-day variant in Bali. Longreads, "Fairy Scapegoats: A History of the Persecution of Changeling Children," 9 June 2018 The goal: pinpoint subtypes of depression, then figure out which treatments have the best chance of success for each particular variant of the disease. Megan Thielking, STAT, "Can precision medicine do for depression what it’s done for cancer? It won’t be easy," 9 May 2018 Though Northrop Grumman will remain in that race with some variant of the X-47B, other contenders are jumping into the competition. David Meyer, Fortune, "Google Reportedly Drafts 'Ethical Principles' After Employee Fury Over Defense Department Projects," 13 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'variant.' 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 variant

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

circa 1848, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for variant

Adjective

Middle English variaunt, borrowed from Anglo-French variant, borrowed from Latin variant-, varians "variegated, various," from present participle of variāre "to make changeable, vary"

Noun

noun derivative of variant entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about variant

Statistics for variant

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for variant

The first known use of variant was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for variant

variant

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of variant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: different in some way from others of the same kind

variant

noun

English Language Learners Definition of variant (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is different in some way from others of the same kind

: one of two or more different ways to spell or pronounce a word

variant

adjective
var·​i·​ant | \ˈver-ē-ənt \

Kids Definition of variant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: differing from others of its kind or class variant spellings

variant

noun

Kids Definition of variant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one of two or more things that show slight differences A new variant of the disease has appeared.

2 : one of two or more different spellings or pronunciations of a word

variant

adjective
var·​i·​ant | \ˈver-ē-ənt, ˈvar- \

Medical Definition of variant 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: manifesting variety or deviation : exhibiting variation variant forms of the disease

variant

noun

Medical Definition of variant (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that exhibits variation from a type, norm, or wild type : mutation also : one whose behavior is at variance with the norms of society

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on variant

Spanish Central: Translation of variant

Nglish: Translation of variant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of variant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on variant

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

WORD OF THE DAY

by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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