Definition of variation in English:

variation

Line breaks: vari|ation
Pronunciation: /vɛːrɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n
 
/

noun

1A change or slight difference in condition, amount, or level, typically within certain limits: regional variations in house prices [mass noun]: the figures showed marked variation from year to year
More example sentences
  • The organisation says there are wide regional variations in the amount parents will pay.
  • When these figures are examined at regional level there are large variations.
  • These national figures also hide wide variations within countries.
Synonyms
1.1 Astronomy A deviation of a celestial body from its mean orbit or motion.
More example sentences
  • Because of the eccentricity of Mercury's orbit, the variation in the proper motion of the Sun would be noticeable to an observer on the planet.
  • In fact the major perturbation, producing about 99.99 percent of the variation in the lunar orbit, is due to the large attraction of the Sun.
  • Cooler summers at high latitudes result from a reduction in the amount of solar radiation falling on the surface, and this in turn depends upon both changes in the tilt of the Earth's axis and variations in its orbit about the Sun.
1.2 Mathematics A change in the value of a function due to small changes in the values of its argument or arguments.
More example sentences
  • Unexpectedly, a great variety of shapes is obtained by a small variation in the basic function.
  • However, nothing is known about whether amplitude variations have any functional value in this species.
  • The variation about the expected values for total proportion infected and other parameters of interest must also be considered.
1.3 (also magnetic variation) The angular difference between true north and magnetic north at a particular place.
More example sentences
  • He did publish on electricity and magnetism, the variation of magnetic declination with time as well as several publications on optics and astronomical topics.
1.4 [mass noun] Biology The occurrence of an organism in more than one distinct colour or form.
More example sentences
  • Mutation is the primary source of genetic variation upon which natural selection can act.
  • Even if not every mutation leads to a new evolutionary pathway, the flies are a vivid example of one way mutation can provide variation for natural selection to work on.
  • There are many sources of inheritable variation in biology.
2A different or distinct form or version of something: hurling is an Irish variation of hockey
More example sentences
  • Although different cultures produced distinctive variations of an industrial revolution, the similarities are striking.
  • For example, Pentium II was released in 18 different variations, including mobile versions.
  • The French influence, most apparent in early examples such as Cologne Cathedral, gradually gave way to more distinctively local variations, as in the cathedrals of Ulm and Freiburg.
Synonyms
variant, form, alternative, alternative form, other form, different form, derived form, development, adaptation, alteration, modification, revision, revised version
2.1 Music A version of a theme, modified in melody, rhythm, harmony, or ornamentation, so as to present it in a new but still recognizable form: Elgar’s Enigma Variations
More example sentences
  • Still, any score by such an important composer, even one that plays quirky variations on themes by Mozart, is worth hearing.
  • At the time Rachmaninov wrote, he competed with variations on the same theme by Liszt, Schumann, and Brahms.
  • It is universally acknowledged that Elgar originally wrote 17 variations on his Enigma theme.
2.2 Ballet A solo dance as part of a performance: he makes the preparation for his variation with utmost care and accuracy
More example sentences
  • He choreographed the solo variations for the last act of a new production of Napoli, and his production of Coppélia proved to be enduringly popular.
  • I particularly enjoyed the solo variation in the second movement by Andrei Uvarov, which was intensely sad, delicate and surprisingly feminine for such a big man.
  • Adding a solo variation at the end is icing on the cake.

Origin

late Middle English (denoting variance or conflict): from Old French, or from Latin variatio(n-), from the verb variare (see vary).

Derivatives

variational

adjective
More example sentences
  • Between 1917 and 1919 he worked on the variational calculus.
  • When astronomers talk about the evolution of a star, they clearly do not have a variational theory like Darwin's in mind.
  • It was one of the earliest variational problems and its investigation was the starting point for the development of the calculus of variations.

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Pronunciation: vəˈt(y)o͞opəˌrāt
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