- 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.
- a quantity or function that may assume any given value or set of values.
- a symbol that represents this.
- Logic. (in the functional calculus) a symbol for an unspecified member of a class of things or statements.Compare bound variable, free variable.
- Astronomy. variable star.
- a shifting wind, especially as distinguished from a trade wind.
- variables,doldrums(def 2a).
Origin of variable
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for variably
A number of words have been variably hyphenated in the text.The Skylark of Space
Edward Elmer Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby
Greek Gods before they were sculptured would be conceived just as variably.The Evolution of States
J. M. Robertson
Green, without coppery tints, but variably suffused with purple.Bees from British Guiana
T. D. A. Cockerell
The specimens that I have examined from Coahuila are variably intermediate between the subspecies aurifrons and incanescens.Birds from Coahuila, Mexico
Emil K. Urban
The hybrid has a faint dark basicaudal spot that is variably developed in Rhinichthys but absent in Gila.Five Natural Hybrid Combinations in Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Frank B. Cross
- liable to or capable of changevariable 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 variedvariable capacitor
- something that is subject to variation
- 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
- (plural) a region where variable winds occur
Word Origin and History for variably
"quantity that can vary in value," 1816, from variable (adj.). Related: Variably; variability.
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.
- Likely to change or vary; subject to variation; changeable.
- Tending to deviate, as from a normal or recognized type; aberrant.
- Having no fixed quantitative value.
- Something that varies or that is prone to variation.
- A quantity that is capable of assuming any of a set of values.
- A mathematical quantity capable of assuming any of a set of values, such as x in the expression 3x + 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.