[ suhb-vair-ee-uhnt ]

  1. Microbiology, Pathology. a genetically distinct form of a virus, bacteria, or other microorganism, which arises when a variant of the original strain mutates.

  2. in a classification or hierarchy, a distinct, often more specialized type of something that is itself one of a subset of a broader or higher category; subtype: Each fighter plane in the A-series was eventually issued in the subvariants of fighter-bomber and bomber-destroyer.

Origin of subvariant

First recorded in 1900–05; sub- + variant

Words Nearby subvariant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024