- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for variable on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for variability
It tells us little to nothing about variability by region, by education level, by type of jobs.Don’t Trust the Economic Numbers That Govern Our World
February 27, 2014
Most people have a large degree of variability in their heart rates during the course of a day.Inside Seal Team Six by Don Mann Excerpt
December 4, 2011
This question of variability in general is an important one, then.Sir William Herschel: His Life and Works
Edward Singleton Holden
Here the variability of the sparrow again gives him the advantage.The Meaning of Evolution
Samuel Christian Schmucker
Variability of sexual characters alike in domestic and wild.The Foundations of the Origin of Species
Compared to the variability of the speech, it is more stable.The Civilization of Illiteracy
I am glad also to hear of your curious case of variability in ovules, etc.More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II
- 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 variability
"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.