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control variable

noun
  1. Also called control. Statistics. a person, group, event, etc., that is used as a constant and unchanging standard of comparison in scientific experimentation.Compare dependent variable(def 2), independent variable(def 2).
  2. (in computer programming) a variable that is used to regulate the flow of control, or order of execution, generally the number of times a loop will execute.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018