variation

noun
var·i·a·tion | \ ˌver-ē-ˈā-shən \

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, -shə-nᵊl \ adjective
variationally adverb

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

In fact, while each shade has both a numeric and a descriptive name — for example, 18 Deep Sable — nearly half the shades have decimals, indicating subtle variations in undertones. Marci Robin, Allure, "Exclusive: Nyx Is Launching a New Full-Coverage Foundation in 45 Shades," 11 July 2018 The largest variation in quality comes with herbal products and complex formulations, like multivitamins and prenatal supplements. Peter Andrey Smith, Outside Online, "Don't Trust the Label on Your Supplements," 5 July 2018 But within those parameters the variations are many — especially for hitters particular about their swing and their equipment. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "How and why Cubs and White Sox hitters choose bats," 12 July 2018 Ross said the variation in theme was part of what drew him to the project. Jillian Forstadt, The Hollywood Reporter, "Keanu Reeves Reveals What Drew Him to Genre-Bending 'Siberia'," 12 July 2018 Differences by amount of coffee consumed and genetic variations were minimal. Lindsey Tanner, courant.com, "Fresh grounds for coffee: Study shows it may boost longevity," 3 July 2018 Differences by amount of coffee consumed and genetic variations were minimal. Lindsey Tanner, BostonGlobe.com, "Drinking up to 8 cups of coffee a day might help you live longer, new study says," 3 July 2018 Differences by amount of coffee consumed and genetic variations were minimal. Lindsey Tanner, The Seattle Times, "Fresh grounds for coffee: Study shows it may boost longevity," 2 July 2018 Differences by amount of coffee consumed and genetic variations were minimal. CBS News, "Coffee may boost chances for a longer life, study shows," 2 July 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

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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- \

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 \ adjective

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Comments on variation

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