Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the state or characteristic of being variable
  • n. 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being variable; variableness.
  • n. 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 The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The quality or state of being variable; variableness.
  • n. 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.
  • n. In astronomy, the fact that a star or nebula changes its brightness in a more or less periodic manner.

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

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

Etymologies

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

Examples

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