Definition of variation
2 : declination 6
3a : a change of algebraic sign between successive terms of a sequenceb : 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 averageb : something (such as an individual or group) that exhibits variation
6a : a solo dance in classic balletb : a repetition in modern ballet of a movement sequence with changes
variationalplay \ˌver-ē-ˈā-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
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 of variation from the Web
The Federal Labor Agency said Wednesday the unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent from 5.8 percent in April in figures adjusted for seasonal variations.
As endless variations on the IPA and double IPA continue to roll out and more breweries experiment with fruit additions and challenge with sour spins, the APA sits as a stalwart that many breweries still produce, but with few that stand out.
The YouGov research allowed for big variations in the outcome of the election, ranging from as high as 345 seats for the Conservatives, 15 more than their current number, to as low as 274, The Times said.
Facing lawsuits, Obama proposed variations of the rule intended to lessen the burden on employers with religious objections.
Scraps or the rest of the brioche dough can be given a savory treatment; see the VARIATIONS, below.
One of them, from a Houston builder, asked for a dozen houses and eight zoning variations.
Increasingly, knowledge of such individual variation is being shown to lead to more effective treatments.
Some popular variations include the receiving partner standing and bending over a chair or table while their partner — also standing — enters from behind.
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.
Origin and Etymology of 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
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
VARIATION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of variation for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of variation for Students
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.
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
variational\-shnəl, -shən-əl\play adjective
Learn More about variation
See words that rhyme with variation Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for variation Spanish Central: Translation of variation Nglish: Translation of variation for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of variation for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about variation
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