- the transformation of a melody or theme with changes or elaborations in harmony, rhythm, and melody.
- a varied form of a melody or theme, especially one of a series of such forms developing the capacities of the subject.
Origin of variation
Examples from the Web for variation
At one point in this show, a variation of this happened, in succession.Butts, ‘Bang Bang’ & Beyoncé: The Craziest MTV Video Music Awards Moments|Kevin Fallon|August 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Climate warming can be charted as a long-term rising trend with variation.Who Will Save the Wolverine? Not the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service|Doug Peacock|July 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Papers and websites are filled with opinion pieces running some variation of the title “Who lost Iraq?”
By sticking to the variation you hold by, there is individualism.The Rise and Fall…and Rise Again of the Old-Fashioned|Allison McNearney|June 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
There is a set of booster vaccines at about kindergarten age, with a little bit of variation from practice to practice.Jenny McCarthy Says She’s Never Been Anti-Vaccine. Yeah, Right.|Russell Saunders|April 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
As the afternoon advances, for variation, there is a fight at the barriers.Life on a Mediaeval Barony|William Stearns Davis
Variation in coloration is of such magnitude that it has been used as the basis for recognition of subspecies.
This postulate may appropriately be stated as the fixation of new averages of variation by inheritance.The Science and Philosophy of the Organism|Hans Driesch
Rube, by way of variation, occasionally visited the stables to see to the horses.The Watchers of the Plains|Ridgewell Cullum
A keen examination suggests that on the whole advance has been made, allowance being conceded for many a turn and variation.Recollections and Impressions|Octavius Brooks Frothingham
British Dictionary definitions for variation
- a repetition of a musical theme in which the rhythm, harmony, or melody is altered or embellished
- (as modifier)variation form
- a marked deviation from the typical form or function
- a characteristic or an organism showing this deviation
Word Origin and History for variation
late 14c., from Old French variation, from Latin variationem (nominative variatio) "a difference, variation, change," from past participle stem of variare "to change" (see vary). The musical sense is attested from 1801.