variable

adjective
var·​i·​able | \ ˈver-ē-ə-bəl How to pronounce variable (audio) \

Essential Meaning of variable

: able or likely to change or be changed : not always the same The winds were light and variable. a variable climate The loan has a variable interest rate.

Full Definition of variable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : able or apt to vary : subject to variation or changes variable winds variable costs
2 : characterized by variations
3 : having the characteristics of a variable
4 : not true to type : aberrant used of a biological group or character

variable

noun

Definition of variable (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a quantity that may assume any one of a set of values
b : a symbol representing a variable
2a : something that is variable
b : a factor in a scientific experiment that may be subject to change

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Other Words from variable

Adjective

variability \ ˌver-​ē-​ə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce variable (audio) \ noun
variableness \ ˈver-​ē-​ə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce variable (audio) \ noun
variably \ ˈver-​ē-​ə-​blē How to pronounce variable (audio) \ adverb

Examples of variable in a Sentence

Adjective The winds were light and variable. The loan has a variable interest rate. Noun unemployment and other economic variables
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Though the amount of protection that the immune system can provide during chemotherapy treatment is highly variable, the specialist said vaccination before chemo does give the body a better fighting chance if coronavirus does come calling. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Oct. 2021 This model offers a lot more flexibility and scalability, with pricing also being variable, based on consumption. Trefis Team, Forbes, 1 Oct. 2021 Dynamic means the display refresh rate is variable depending on what’s happening on your screen. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, 30 Sep. 2021 Although the mold for each one is the same, the composition of the resins used for the initial run of nine was variable, making each goopily unique. Matthew Schneier, Curbed, 14 Sep. 2021 Rainfall was variable, but some areas saw up to a half-inch, said Scott McGuire, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Reno station, which covers about 36,000 square miles. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 2021 Store employees said that supply was variable depending on the day. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 Sep. 2021 Conditions are highly variable in large part because North Dakota is so far from the oceans, which have a moderating effect on climate. New York Times, 25 Aug. 2021 Across the coastline of New England, the period between hurricane strikes is quite variable. BostonGlobe.com, 17 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While your training program should include a mix of all three, only focus on improving one variable at a time. Suzie Glassman, Wired, 9 Aug. 2021 And yet, study after study shows that the overwhelming majority of cyber breaches share one variable in common: human error. Stephen Baer, Forbes, 7 July 2021 The technical causes of these deaths are multifarious, and yet one variable stands out: A disproportionate number of the deceased did not have access to air-conditioning. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 30 June 2021 The coronavirus remains the dominant variable around how the U.S. economy will do for the rest of the year and into 2022, according to NABE. CBS News, 27 Sep. 2021 Who is available – and for how long – becomes a variable to consider. Nate Bennett, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 To test their episodic memory, the researchers added another variable: the animals’ personal preference. Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, Science | AAAS, 18 Aug. 2021 In addition to base and variable, consider adding options. Yec, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 Ida also arrived during the Covid-19 pandemic, adding another variable to the recovery efforts. Eric Levenson, CNN, 30 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'variable.' 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 variable

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1816, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for variable

Adjective

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Late Latin variābilis "changeable," from Latin variāre "to make changeable, vary" + -ābilis -able

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Time Traveler for variable

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near variable

varia

variable

variable-area

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Statistics for variable

Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Variable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/variable. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for variable

variable

adjective
var·​i·​able | \ ˈver-ē-ə-bəl How to pronounce variable (audio) \

Kids Definition of variable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : able to change : likely to be changed : changeable a variable climate
2 : having differences
3 : different from what is normal or usual

Other Words from variable

variably \ -​blē \ adverb

variable

noun

Kids Definition of variable (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that changes or can be changed
2 : a symbol (as x or *) used in mathematics in the place of a numeral : placeholder

variable

adjective
vari·​able | \ ˈver-ē-ə-bəl, ˈvar- How to pronounce variable (audio) \

Medical Definition of variable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : able or apt to vary : subject to variation or changes allergy is perhaps the most variable of all diseases— H. G. Rapaport & Shirley Linde
2 : characterized by variations
3 : not true to type : aberrant used of a biological group or character

Other Words from variable

variability \ ˌver-​ē-​ə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē, ˌvar-​ How to pronounce variable (audio) \ noun, plural variabilities

variable

noun

Medical Definition of variable (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is variable

More from Merriam-Webster on variable

Nglish: Translation of variable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of variable for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about variable

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