American English

Definition of variation noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] variation (in/of something) a change, especially in the amount or level of something The dial records very slight variations in pressure. Currency exchange rates are always subject to variation. regional/seasonal variation (= depending on the region or time of year) AWL Collocationsvaryvary verbto be different from each other; to become different or to changeestimate, opinion, pricing, ratio, result rate, sizeEstimates vary because measurement techniques differ from study to study.considerably, greatly, significantly, substantially widely inversely seasonallySpanish is spoken with an accent that varies considerably according to region. The cost of cattle varies inversely with supply.varying degreesThere are a wealth of resources on the World Wide Web, containing information with varying degrees of accuracy and reliability.variable nounindependent, predictor dependent, outcome continuous, categoricalOne predictor variable of early reading success is vocabulary knowledge. In this study, age was measured as a continuous variable ranging from 18 to 70 years. The categorical variables were gender and marital status.variation nounconsiderable, slight spatial, temporal genetic, geographic, seasonalThere is considerable variation; what works for one patient does not necessarily work for another. The area has spatial variations in rainfall, with the southern areas receiving more rainfall than central locations.variability nounconsiderable, substantial climatic, geneticConsiderable variability in all aspects of testing practices was evident. Wild plant species usually have a great deal of genetic variability.within across, among, betweenThere is considerable variability within the group, with some students reading at grade level, and others demonstrating significant reading problems.varied adjectivewidely immensely, infinitely, richlyFibers may be derived from paper, metal, nylon, and other materials having widely varied physical properties. The judicial systems of the rest of the world are immensely varied.variable adjectivehighlyRainfall is highly variable, and the start and end of the two rainy seasons are unreliable.
  2. 2[countable] variation (on something) a thing that is different from other things in the same general group This soup is a spicy variation on a traditional favorite.
  3. 3[countable] variation (on something) (music) any of a set of short pieces of music based on a simple tune repeated in a different and more complicated form a set of variations on a theme by Mozart (figurative) His numerous complaints are all variations on a theme (= all about the same thing).
  4. Word Familyvary verbvaried adjectivevariable adjectivevariation nounvarious adjectivevariety noun
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: variation