capable of being varied or changed; alterable: a variable time limit for completion of a book.
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.
a quantity or function that may assume any given value or set of values.
a symbol that represents this.
- var·i·a·bil·i·ty [vair-ee-uh-bil-i-tee], /ˌvɛər i əˈbɪl ɪ ti/, var·i·a·ble·ness, noun
- var·i·a·bly, adverb
- hy·per·var·i·a·ble, adjective
- hy·per·var·i·a·bly, adverb
- non·var·i·a·ble, adjective
- non·var·i·a·ble·ness, noun
- non·var·i·a·bly, adverb
- un·var·i·a·ble, adjective
- un·var·i·a·ble·ness, noun
- un·var·i·a·bly, adverb
- variable , variant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
British Dictionary definitions for variable
liable to or capable of change: variable 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 varied: variable capacitor
something that is subject to variation
an expression that can be assigned any of a set of values
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
- variability or variableness, noun
- variably, adverb
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 variable
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.