[vair-ee-uh nt]


tending to change or alter; exhibiting variety or diversity; varying: variant shades of color.
not agreeing or conforming; differing, especially from something of the same general kind.
not definitive, as a version of part of a text; different; alternative: a variant reading.
not universally accepted.


a person or thing that varies.
a different spelling, pronunciation, or form of the same word: “Vehemency” is a variant of “vehemence.”

Origin of variant

1325–75; Middle English < Latin variant-, stem of variāns, present participle of variāre to vary; see -ant
Related formsnon·var·i·ant, adjective, nounun·var·i·ant, adjective
Can be confusedvariable variant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for variant

Contemporary Examples of variant

Historical Examples of variant

  • A Prime can be negated, while on the other hand a variant can shift from possible to Logical to Prime.

  • The Italian and German techniques were often pursued in variant styles.

  • But fortune is so variant, and the wheel so movable, there is no constant abiding.

  • In the variant of the story in No. 38, the comrades are the hero Martin, a smith, and a tailor.

    Russian Fairy Tales

    W. R. S. Ralston

  • The variant spellings of Bulloign, Bulloigne and Bullogne have been retained.

British Dictionary definitions for variant



liable to or displaying variation
differing from a standard or typea variant spelling
obsolete not constant; fickle


something that differs from a standard or type
statistics another word for variate (def. 1)

Word Origin for variant

C14: via Old French from Latin variāns, from variāre to diversify, from varius various
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

Word Origin and History for variant

late 14c., from Old French variant, from Latin variantem (nominative varians), present participle of variare "to change" (see vary).


1848, from variant (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for variant


[vârē-ənt, văr-]


Having or exhibiting variation; differing.
Tending or liable to vary; variable.
Deviating from a standard, usually by only a slight difference.


Something that differs in form only slightly from something else.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.