View synonyms for variation


[ vair-ee-ey-shuhn ]


  1. the act, process, or accident of varying in condition, character, or degree:

    Prices are subject to variation.

    Synonyms: difference, divergence, deviation, modification, alteration, mutation

  2. an instance of this:

    There is a variation in the quality of fabrics in this shipment.

  3. amount, rate, extent, or degree of change:

    a temperature variation of 40° in a particular climate.

  4. a different form of something; variant.
  5. Music.
    1. the transformation of a melody or theme with changes or elaborations in harmony, rhythm, and melody.
    2. a varied vary form of a melody or theme, especially one of a series of such forms developing the capacities of the subject.
  6. Ballet. a solo dance, especially one forming a section of a pas de deux.
  7. Astronomy. any deviation from the mean orbit of a heavenly body, especially of a planetary or satellite orbit.
  8. Also called magnetic declination, Navigation. the angle between the geographic and the magnetic meridian at a given point, expressed in plus degrees east or minus degrees west of true north. Compare deviation ( def 4 ).
  9. Biology. a difference or deviation in structure or character from others of the same species or group.


/ ˌvɛərɪˈeɪʃən /


  1. the act, process, condition, or result of changing or varying; diversity
  2. an instance of varying or the amount, rate, or degree of such change
  3. something that differs from a standard or convention
  4. music
    1. a repetition of a musical theme in which the rhythm, harmony, or melody is altered or embellished
    2. ( as modifier )

      variation form

  5. biology
    1. a marked deviation from the typical form or function
    2. a characteristic or an organism showing this deviation
  6. astronomy any change in or deviation from the mean motion or orbit of a planet, satellite, etc, esp a perturbation of the moon
  7. another word for magnetic declination
  8. ballet a solo dance
  9. linguistics any form of morphophonemic change, such as one involved in inflection, conjugation, or vowel mutation

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˌvariˈational, adjective
  • ˌvariˈationally, adverb

Discover More

Other Words From

  • vari·ation·al var·i·a·tive [vair, -ee-ey-tiv], adjective
  • vari·ation·al·ly vari·ative·ly adverb
  • inter·vari·ation noun
  • nonvar·i·ation noun
  • over·vari·ation noun
  • prevar·i·ation noun
  • self-vari·ation noun

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of variation1

First recorded in 1350–1400; from Latin variātiōn-, stem of variātiō; equivalent to variate + -ion; replacing Middle English variacioun, from Anglo-French, from Latin, as above

Discover More

Example Sentences

Some variation of the truth will set you free, so I suggest you go on a truth offensive.

From Ozy

He was initially focused on temperature variations, and he viewed the pressure peaks as unwelcome noise.

Inter-subject variations are to be expected, for example due to differences in physiology, mask fit, head position, speech pattern and such.

This big data approach scans existing genomic databases for variations in DNA coding that could lead to differences in some outcome—for example, long versus short life.

Some frequencies will show up more strongly than others, and these variations highlight patterns — for instance, a strong frequency might indicate that the list contains more odd numbers than even ones.

As I went spelunking through the research literature, I found a huge variation in definitions.

Biological variation was celebrated in the pantheon of the gods.

At one point in this show, a variation of this happened, in succession.

Climate warming can be charted as a long-term rising trend with variation.

Papers and websites are filled with opinion pieces running some variation of the title “Who lost Iraq?”

Marked variation in the amount at successive examinations strongly suggests a neurosis.

The variation of the compass in this interval is scarcely affected by the ship's local attraction.

The variation in this interval is almost too trifling to be noticed for the purposes of common navigation.

Thus it may well come about that our coast lines are swaying up and down in ceaseless variation.

There is never any great variation in the temperature, which is the natural consequence of the place being near the equator.


Word of the Day



Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.