variation

noun
var·​i·​a·​tion | \ ˌver-ē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce variation (audio) \

Definition of variation

1a : the act or process of varying : the state or fact of being varied
b : an instance of varying
c : the extent to which or the range in which a thing varies
3a : a change of algebraic sign between successive terms of a sequence
b : a measure of the change in data, a variable, or a function
4 : the repetition of a musical theme with modifications in such elements as rhythm, melody, harmony, key, tempo, and accompaniment
5a : divergence in the structural or functional characteristics of an organism from the species or population norm or average
b : something (such as an individual or group) that exhibits variation
6a : a solo dance in classic ballet
b : a repetition in modern ballet of a movement sequence with changes

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Other Words from variation

variational \ ˌver-​ē-​ˈā-​shnəl How to pronounce variational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
variationally adverb

Synonyms for variation

Synonyms

interpretation, riff, take

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Examples of variation in a Sentence

the movie begins with a somewhat irreverent variation on the Nativity story the latest in a long line of variations in her hair color

Recent Examples on the Web

Zombieland introduces some variations on zombie lore by having its flesh-eating beasties be speedy and smart. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The Dead Don’t Die is a perfect excuse to return to Zombieland," 14 June 2019 Practice on cardboard first until your touch-ups match the color variations on the tile. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, "Cracked kitchen tiles? Try a patch.," 10 June 2019 The beauty of nature, the fun of the ideas that the former owner of the Prehistoric Forest had, the dinosaurs, all the variations on the theme — absolutely marvelous. John Carlisle, Freep.com, "LAND OF THE LOST Irish Hills tourist stop owner aims to restore dinosaur park," 6 June 2019 Her wardrobe is all neatly tailored variations on menswear, her hair short and unfussy. Eliza Berman, Time, "Emma Thompson Just Wants to Make Us Laugh—and Maybe Get Arrested," 6 June 2019 Animal Print Courtesy of Zimmermann This season's animal print selections run the gamut, from your classic leopard to variations on zebra and tiger stripes—even python! Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "The Swimwear Trends of 2019 to Try This Summer, From Animal Prints to Metallics," 9 Apr. 2019 Most are variations on services already available from other media, technology or financial companies, although Apple’s versions have been infused with a bit of the iPhone maker’s characteristic branding shine. ... Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Apple’s Hardest Upsell Yet," 25 Mar. 2019 Building a brand that speaks to a changing market Design often plateaus once the platonic ideal of a product becomes established—like mobile phones have all become slight variations on slim glass rectangles. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The rise of the direct-to-consumer home," 21 Dec. 2018 There are variations on these friend-and-family scams on Twitter and other social networks. Brooke Crothers, Fox News, "Facebook scams are on the rise, new report says," 10 Aug. 2018

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

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First Known Use of variation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for variation

Middle English variacioun, borrowed from Anglo-French variacion "variance, discrepancy," borrowed from Latin variātiōn-, variātiō "diversification, divergence," from variāre "to make changeable, vary" + -tiōn- -tiō, suffix of deverbal nouns

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Statistics for variation

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for variation

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

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More Definitions for variation

variation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of variation

: a change in the form, position, condition, or amount of something
: something that is similar to something else but different in some way
music : a repeated version of a short piece of music with changes in its rhythm, tune, or harmony

variation

noun
var·​i·​a·​tion | \ ˌver-ē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce variation (audio) \

Kids Definition of variation

1 : a change in form, position, or condition Our routine could use some variation.
2 : amount of change or difference Scientists record the variations in temperature.
3 : departure from what is usual to a group The poodle's offspring show no variation from the breed.

variation

noun
var·​i·​a·​tion | \ ˌver-ē-ˈā-shən, ˌvar- How to pronounce variation (audio) \

Medical Definition of variation

1 : divergence in one or more characteristics of an organism or biotype from those typical of or usual for its group
2 : something (as an individual or group) that exhibits variation

Other Words from variation

variational \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce variational (audio) \ adjective

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