independent variable

[ in-di-pen-duhnt vair-ee-uh-buhl ]

  1. Mathematics. a variable in a functional relation whose value determines the value or values of other variables, as x in the relation y = 3x2.: Compare dependent variable (def. 1).

  2. Statistics. (in an experiment) a variable that is intentionally changed to observe its effect on the dependent variable.: Compare dependent variable (def. 2), control variable (def. 1).

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Origin of independent variable

First recorded in 1850–55

Words Nearby independent variable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use independent variable in a sentence

  • Let x be the independent variable, y the correlative variable which depends upon it.

  • In other words, mind cannot exist as an "independent variable" in the world; it must always accompany a human brain.

  • An ordinary differential equation involves only one independent variable, a partial differential equation involves more than one.

British Dictionary definitions for independent variable

independent variable

  1. Also called: argument a variable in a mathematical equation or statement whose value determines that of the dependent variable: in y = f(x), x is the independent variable

  2. Also called: predictor statistics the variable which an experimenter deliberately manipulates in order to observe its relationship with some other quantity, or which defines the distinct conditions in an experiment: See also experimental condition

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

Scientific definitions for independent variable

independent variable

[ ĭn′dĭ-pĕndənt ]

  1. In mathematics, a variable whose value determines the value of other variables. For example, in the formula for the area of a circle, A = πr2, r is the independent variable, as its value determines the value of the area (A). Compare dependent variable.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.