- 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).
- 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).
Origin of independent variable
First recorded in 1850–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- 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
- 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 experimentSee 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
- 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.