late 14c., from Old French variation, from Latin variationem (nominative variatio) "a difference, variation, change," from past participle stem of variare "to change" (see vary). The musical sense is attested from 1801.
variation var·i·a·tion (vâr'ē-ā'shən, vār'-)
The act, process, or result of varying.
The state or fact of being varied.
The extent or degree to which something varies.
Something slightly different from another of the same type.
Marked difference or deviation from the normal or recognized form, function, or structure.
An organism exhibiting such difference or deviation.
A function that relates the values of one variable to those of other variables.