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

But this raises the question of whether there’s something else that’s different about the groups or studies that might explain this variation. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Sperm counts are falling. This isn’t the reproductive apocalypse — yet.," 30 May 2019 The loading bay at Arc’One sits in the far corner of the warehouse to keep temperature variation at a minimum. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Everything That Goes Into Making an Arc'teryx Jacket," 24 May 2019 Where did dimensional sizing need more fit variations? Gianluca Russo, Glamour, "Not All Plus-size Bodies Are Exactly the Same—This New Fashion Brand Gets It," 14 May 2019 It’s traditionally made by fermenting bread with yeast, water and flavorings such as lemon and raisins; modern variations are made from beets and other vegetables. Ellie Krieger, The Seattle Times, "Move over, quinoa. Kvass and celtuce are the hot new health foods," 12 Apr. 2019 But don't stop there: Try one of these 30+ other flavor variations! Place eggs in large saucepan, add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Best Deviled Eggs Ever," 29 Mar. 2019 The new variation will be the fifth addition to the Tree family, which uses tree fiber sourced from farms that rely only on rainfall which substantially cuts down their carbon footprint. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "Allbirds Just Dropped the Most Comfortable Ballet Flat You'll Ever Wear," 2 May 2019 Some bedtime variation is OK, like dozing off at 10:45 P.M. instead of your usual 10:30. Korin Miller, SELF, "7 Mistakes You Make Right Before Bed That Are Ruining Your Sleep," 28 Nov. 2018 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

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

7 Jun 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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