or cepheid variable
a variable star in which changes in brightness are due to alternate contractions and expansions in volume.
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British Dictionary definitions for cepheid variable
/ (ˈsiːfɪɪd) /
astronomy any of a class of variable stars with regular cycles of variations in luminosity (most ranging from three to fifty days). There is a relationship between the periods of variation and the absolute magnitudes, which is used for measuring the distance of such stars
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