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