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

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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 Velodyne has since introduced variations on this basic design, including a high-end 128-laser design and cheaper models with 32 or 16 lasers. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How lidar makers are coping with slow progress of self-driving tech," 11 Feb. 2020 Pick one variation to add to your leg day or your full-body strength workout. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "The 4 Most Common Mistakes Made While Lunging," 11 Feb. 2020 Doing variations on a theme seems like a useful way of generating ideas. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, "Barry Blitt’s “Origin Story”," 10 Feb. 2020 These patterns are evident in the rapid temperature variations between nearby points in the ocean and the frenetic, stylized way that white and black paint mix together. Quanta Magazine, "Mathematicians Prove Universal Law of Turbulence," 4 Feb. 2020 Heat can make the acidity in lemon juice seem more intense, so his variation relies on dry vermouth for a gentler acidic note. Kara Newman, WSJ, "Hotter Toddies: Smart Tweaks to a Classic Cocktail," 4 Feb. 2020 The Vietnamese bakery specializes in cream cheese and cinnamon variations that are limited to walk-ins and two cakes per customer despite it being located a good 20 minutes outside central New Orleans. Andrew Parks, Condé Nast Traveler, "Everything You Need to Know about Mardi Gras in New Orleans This Year," 31 Jan. 2020 These variations are then shown to test audiences and measured for effectiveness, in a process broadly similar to the A/B testing often performed by marketers – but far more detailed. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "How marketers are increasingly using A.I. to persuade you to buy," 31 Jan. 2020 The gun also comes with shims, which when combined with the cheek and butt pads, allows for 20 different variations. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "The Best New Guns, Ammo, and Hunting Gear from SHOT Show 2020," 22 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for variation

Time Traveler

The first known use of variation was in the 14th century

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Statistics for variation

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Variation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/variation. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for variation

variation

noun
How to pronounce variation (audio)

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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