Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The quality, state, or degree of being variable or changeable.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The quality or state of being variable; variableness.
  • noun In biology, ability to vary; capability of variation; susceptibility to modification under conditions of environment, whether inherited or acquired; that plasticity or modifiability of any organism in virtue of which an animal or a plant may change in form, structure, function, size, color, or other character, lose some character or acquire another, and thus deviate from its parent-form; also, the kind or rate of variation in a given instance; the fact or act of varying. See variation, 8, variety, 6.
  • noun In astronomy, the fact that a star or nebula changes its brightness in a more or less periodic manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality or state of being variable; variableness.
  • noun (Biol.) The power possessed by living organisms, both animal and vegetable, of adapting themselves to modifications or changes in their environment, thus possibly giving rise to ultimate variation of structure or function.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun the state or characteristic of being variable
  • noun the degree to which a thing is variable. In data or statistics this is often a measurement of distance from the mean or a description of data range.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the quality of being subject to variation
  • noun the quality of being uneven and lacking uniformity

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Derived form of variable which is from the Old French variable, from the Latin variabilis "changeable" from variare "to change"

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