Definition of variation noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌveəriˈeɪʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌveriˈeɪʃn//
    Pieces of music
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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)
  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 favourite.
  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). See related entries: Pieces of music
  4. Word Originlate Middle English (denoting variance or conflict): from Old French, or from Latin variatio(n-), from the verb variare, from varius ‘diverse’.Word Familyvary verbvaried adjectivevariable adjectivevariation nounvarious adjectivevariety nounExtra examples Considerable variation was found in the terms offered by different banks. His numerous complaints are all variations on a theme. She is studying language variation across the social range. The businesses showed a dramatic variation in how they treated their staff. There is little variation by sex or social class in these attitudes. There may be striking variations within a species. slight variations in pressure subtle variations of colour and design subtle variations of light and texture temperature variation with altitude the story is a variation on ‘Treasure Island’ variation according to the time of year variation among the students in terms of ability variations between different accents There is considerable variation in tastes across the country. We need to take seasonal variation into account. local/​regional/​geographical/​environmental/​climatic/​cultural/​ethnic variation regional variations in voting patterns
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: variation