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

On young women, one observes the almost infinite range of variation in the arrangement of scarves, while the older citizens have faces that reflect something of the previous century. Jay Mcinerney, Vogue, "Why, Oh Why Do I Love Paris? Jay McInerney Counted the Ways in a 1986 Story for Vogue, Republished Here in Solidarity With the French Capital, Where Notre-Dame Burned," 16 Apr. 2019 There were several stylish variations on the sleeveless style, ranging from Celine’s draped camel shapes to Chanel’s structured tweed takes. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Brie Larson Takes This Superheroine Staple to the Red Carpet," 15 Apr. 2019 After living in a neighborhood where house styles came in limited variations, the couple was drawn to the custom aspects of the Deza Estates house, as well as its classic post-and-beam construction. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "‘It was midcentury time capsule-meets-1980s’," 17 Dec. 2018 How many calories in a cheesesteak There is no fixed calorie amount for a cheesesteak due restaurant variations, but the estimates range from 900 to 1200 calories. Joseph A. Gambardello, Philly.com, "Philly cheesesteak: Everything you need to know," 5 July 2018 Here are three variations, two combining the lentils with sweet potato and one combining them with carrots. Adam Ried, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Three summer dips featuring red lentils," 22 June 2018 But once that is done, researchers hope spherical tokamaks, or some other variation, will provide a route to commercial reactors that are smaller, simpler, and cheaper than ITER. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Knighthood in hand, astrophysicist prepares to lead U.S. fusion lab," 19 June 2018 Daniel has routinely applied similar tactics in Matmos to translate found sound into musical information, but using a kaleidoscopic range of abstract, piercing noises is a new variation for him, and Wiese provides the perfect foil in the process. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Two generations of noisy oddballs from the LA underground descend on Chicago," 15 June 2018 Since there is variation among climate model projections, using a large group of them allows us to gauge the robustness of the results. Smithsonian, "How Climate Changed-Fueled “Mega Droughts” Could Harm Human Health," 12 June 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

10 May 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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