Try Our Apps


Blech. These are the grossest words.


[vair-ee-uh-buh l] /ˈvɛər i ə bəl/
apt or liable to vary or change; changeable:
variable weather; variable moods.
capable of being varied or changed; alterable:
a variable time limit for completion of a book.
inconstant; fickle:
a variable lover.
having much variation or diversity.
Biology. deviating from the usual type, as a species or a specific character.
Astronomy. (of a star) changing in brightness.
Meteorology. (of wind) tending to change in direction.
Mathematics. having the nature or characteristics of a variable.
something that may or does vary or change; a variable feature or factor.
Mathematics, Computers.
  1. a quantity or function that may assume any given value or set of values.
  2. a symbol that represents this.
Logic. (in the functional calculus) a symbol for an unspecified member of a class of things or statements.
Astronomy. variable star.
  1. a shifting wind, especially as distinguished from a trade wind.
  2. variables, doldrums (def 2a).
Origin of variable
late Middle English
1350-1400; late Middle English < Latin variābilis, equivalent to vari(us) various + -ābilis -able
Related forms
variability, variableness, noun
variably, adverb
hypervariability, noun
hypervariable, adjective
hypervariably, adverb
nonvariability, noun
nonvariable, adjective
nonvariableness, noun
nonvariably, adverb
unvariable, adjective
unvariableness, noun
unvariably, adverb
Can be confused
boundary, limit, parameter, variable (see synonym study at boundary; see usage note at parameter)
variable, variant.
3. vacillating, wavering, fluctuating, unsteady, mercurial.
1, 3. constant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for variableness
Historical Examples
  • But fortunately in landscape the variableness of nature greatly assists the artist.

    Art Principles Ernest Govett
  • With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James i, 17).

    The Bible John E. Remsburg
  • Remembering then, the variableness of our climate, I candidly admit that I consider any precise directions of very little value.

  • In the control of the universe we find no trace of “variableness nor shadow of turning.”

    The Arena Various
  • In genuine friendship there is indeed no variableness, neither shadow or turning.

    Play the Game! Ruth Comfort Mitchell
  • The Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

    The Religions of Japan William Elliot Griffis
  • The course of a rapid river is the justest of all emblems to express the variableness of our scene below.

  • With Me there is no variableness, neither the shadow of turning.

    Our Master Bramwell Booth
  • The cause of this is not to be found in the variableness of her humor.

    Man and Wife Wilkie Collins
  • He is not "a Father of lights in Whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning."

    Bergson and His Philosophy J. Alexander Gunn
British Dictionary definitions for variableness


liable to or capable of change: variable weather
(of behaviour, opinions, emotions, etc) lacking constancy; fickle
(maths) having a range of possible values
(of a species, characteristic, etc) liable to deviate from the established type
(of a wind) varying its direction and intensity
(of an electrical component or device) designed so that a characteristic property, such as resistance, can be varied: variable capacitor
something that is subject to variation
  1. an expression that can be assigned any of a set of values
  2. a symbol, esp x, y, or z, representing an unspecified member of a class of objects, numbers, etc See also dependent variable, independent variable
(logic) a symbol, esp x, y, z, representing any member of a class of entities
(computing) a named unit of storage that can be changed to any of a set of specified values during execution of a program
(astronomy) See variable star
a variable wind
(pl) a region where variable winds occur
Derived Forms
variability, variableness, noun
variably, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin variābilis changeable, from variāre to diversify
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for variableness



late 14c., of persons, from Old French variable, from Latin variabilis "changeable," from variare "to change" (see vary). Of weather, seasons, etc., attested from late 15c.; of stars, from 1788.


"quantity that can vary in value," 1816, from variable (adj.). Related: Variably; variability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
variableness in Medicine

variable var·i·a·ble (vâr'ē-ə-bəl, vār'-)

  1. Likely to change or vary; subject to variation; changeable.

  2. Tending to deviate, as from a normal or recognized type; aberrant.

  3. Having no fixed quantitative value.

  1. Something that varies or that is prone to variation.

  2. A quantity that is capable of assuming any of a set of values.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
variableness in Science
  1. A mathematical quantity capable of assuming any of a set of values, such as x in the expression 3x + 2.

  2. A factor or condition that is subject to change, especially one that is allowed to change in a scientific experiment to test a hypothesis. See more at control.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for variable

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for variableness

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for variableness