Synonym Chooser

How does the noun variance contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of variance are conflict, contention, discord, dissension, and strife. While all these words mean "a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony," variance implies a clash between persons or things owing to a difference in nature, opinion, or interest.

cultural variances that work against a national identity

In what contexts can conflict take the place of variance?

The meanings of conflict and variance largely overlap; however, conflict usually stresses the action of forces in opposition but in static applications implies an irreconcilability as of duties or desires.

the conflict of freedom and responsibility

Where would contention be a reasonable alternative to variance?

While the synonyms contention and variance are close in meaning, contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy.

several points of contention about the new zoning law

When is discord a more appropriate choice than variance?

The words discord and variance can be used in similar contexts, but discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism.

a political party long racked by discord

When would dissension be a good substitute for variance?

In some situations, the words dissension and variance are roughly equivalent. However, dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions.

religious dissension threatened to split the colony

When is it sensible to use strife instead of variance?

While in some cases nearly identical to variance, strife emphasizes a struggle for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the persons or things involved.

during his brief reign the empire was never free of civil strife

Thesaurus Entries Near variance

Cite this Entry

“Variance.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on variance

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!