- 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
- 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 non-variable
"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.