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

And planets rotate around together, with only small variations arising from any internal dynamics. Simon J. Lock, Scientific American, "When Earth and the Moon Were One," 2 July 2019 Try styling an outfit with slight variations on a single color. Leah Bourne, Glamour, "How to Match Your Shoes to Your Outfit and Not Look Old-Fashioned," 24 June 2019 Style your traditional blue and white chinoiserie with simple red containers, or swap them out with blue, white and red variations. Ap Mcclatchy, The Mercury News, "Play up red, white and blue all summer long," 24 June 2019 Over the years, ball producers patented different spheres with variations in the number of panels. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, "Every invention you use has one thing in common," 18 June 2019 With minor variations, D Bell has rolled out the same lineup since Opening Day. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: Cincinnati Reds' Winker a happy, new-breed player; not all are," 17 June 2019 In this tome, there are 80 main vegetable recipes with more than 230 variations. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "She used to work at Zingerman's. Now she's back to cook from her new book," 11 June 2019 Road courses offer a different take, but with over 60 variations of race tire specifications based on surface, conditions, and speeds, each race offers an exacting blend. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Gaining Speed: A History of the Indy 500 Racing Tire," 24 May 2019 Most of the members chose classic black suits with subtle variations—there was a subtle checker print on J-Hope’s blazer, for instance—while others took bigger risks: V went full-on printed, while Suga did a polka-dot blazer and extra-long sleeves. Vogue, "BTS Hits the Billboard Awards Red Carpet—And They’ve Never Looked Better," 1 May 2019

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

5 Jul 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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