• WordNet 3.6
    • n variability the quality of being subject to variation
    • n variability the quality of being uneven and lacking uniformity
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Variability (Biol) The power possessed by living organisms, both animal and vegetable, of adapting themselves to modifications or changes in their environment, thus possibly giving rise to ultimate variation of structure or function.
    • Variability The quality or state of being variable; variableness.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n variability The quality or state of being variable; variableness.
    • n variability In biology, ability to vary; capability of variation; susceptibility to modification under conditions of environment, whether inherited or acquired; that plasticity or modifiability of any organism in virtue of which an animal or a plant may change in form, structure, function, size, color, or other character, lose some character or acquire another, and thus deviate from its parent-form; also, the kind or rate of variation in a given instance; the fact or act of varying. See variation, 8, variety, 6. Variability or mutability of some kind and to some extent is inherent in all organisms, and is transmissible like any other natural attribute or quality; it is therefore scarcely the antithesis of heredity (though the latter term often indicates or implies such fixity of type as an organism may derive from its parentform. and which causes it to retain that form instead of acquiring a different form); yet variability has somewhat explicit reference to the tendency of organisms to become unlike their parents under external influences, and so to adapt themselves to their surroundings. Hence variability, though intrinsic, is called into play by the extrinsic conditions under which organisms vary, and in this way is counteractive of heredity, or the tendency to breed true”. (See atavism and selection, 3.) The old notion of species as special creations, and as among the “constants of nature,” subject to variation within very narrow limits which are themselves fixed in every case, finds no place in modern biological conceptions. (See species, 5.) The actual extent of variation which results from variability has been realized in all its significance only within thepast thirty years, during which observations in every branch of natural history Save demonstrated the universality of the fact, and shown the average rate or degree of variability to be much greater than had before been suspected. The cases of domestic animals and plants, first systematically studied by Darwin with special reference to variability, proved to be much less exceptional than they had been assumed to be; and the results of extending the same researches to the variability of organisms in a state of nature may be said to have entirely remodeled biology. See Darwinism and evolution, 2 , .
    • n variability In astronomy, the fact that a star or nebula changes its brightness in a more or less periodic manner.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Variability (biol.) tendency to depart in any direction from the mean character of the species
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  • Doug Horton
    “Beauty is variable, ugliness is constant.”
  • Susan Gerhart
    Susan Gerhart
    “One person's constant is another person's variable.”
  • Joseph Addison
    “There is not so variable a thing in nature as a lady's head-dress.”
  • David Hare
    “Sudden resolutions, like the sudden rise of mercury in a barometer, indicate little else than the variability of the weather.”
  • Gilbert K. Chesterton
    “Variability is one of the virtues of a woman. It avoids the crude requirement of polygamy. So long as you have one good wife you are sure to have a spiritual harem.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. variabilité,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. variabilis.


In literature:

Heartwood orange, sapwood lighter; compact structure, apt to be variable in appearance in cross-section.
"Seasoning of Wood" by Joseph B. Wagner
Leaf-hypoderm biform or variable.
"The Genus Pinus" by George Russell Shaw
It is permanent, they are variable.
"The Sense of Beauty" by George Santayana
Its composition is very variable, and probably no two samples would yield exactly similar analyses.
"Manures and the principles of manuring" by Charles Morton Aikman
Its width is as variable as we need it, up to a light-year.
"Eight Keys to Eden" by Mark Irvin Clifton
They are originally deposited in variable thicknesses on irregular surfaces.
"The Economic Aspect of Geology" by C. K. Leith
A fundamental objection to all three hypotheses is that the rotation of the spot was variable.
"A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century" by Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke
This kind of variability has probably another source.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park
It was not, however, until the close of the nineteenth century that much attention was paid to variable stars.
"Astronomy of To-day" by Cecil G. Dolmage
Rigel has been suspected of a slight degree of variability.
"Pleasures of the telescope" by Garrett Serviss

In poetry:

And yet I am the lord of all, And this brave world magnifical,
Veiled in so variable a mist
It may be rose or amethyst,
Demands me for the lord of all!
"Haschisch" by Arthur Symons
You were not over-patient with me, dear;
This want of patience one must rightly rate:
You are so young! Youth ever was severe
And variable and inconsiderate!
"Birds In The Night" by Paul Verlaine

In news:

The second heuristic provides an initial order for the variables within the decision diagram.
Usually sports events draw comparable ratings from year to year, although variables such as how long events last and whether they're close can cause ratings hiccups.
Examining effect of operating variables on part-load energy requirements.
Because so many variables are involved, controlling transportation costs is a most challenging task.
Our sun is a variable star whose brightness waxes and wanes over an 11-year cycle.
How one company developed a tool for actual variable readings.
Winds variable 10 kt or less.
Variable- Geometry End Mill Outguns Chatter.
Snapware puts a lid on label variability .
Their Impact on Control and Variability .
Reduce Manufacturing Process Costs By Capturing Baseline Data and Eliminating Variability .
Managing soil ­ variability .
But larger litters do not increase variability in body weight of the pigs in the litter at birth.
Mira the Wonderful, a famous variable star .
Astronomers discover 30 variable stars in the field of open star cluster M23.

In science:

Physical variables are given by functions of the canonical variables and the time variable t; e.g., A = A(x, y , z , t), B = B (x, y , z , t), and C = C (x, y , z , t).
Cubic Matrix, Nambu Mechanics and Beyond
Thus, within the interpretation of a variable CRF, the observed variability can arise from either an intrinsic variability in the Galactic CRF (as assumed in this work) or a variability induced by a variable heliosphere.
The Spiral Structure of the Milky Way, Cosmic Rays, and Ice Age Epochs on Earth
We can assume that the variables x are listed in two blocks x = (z , u), where z consists of the essential variables of the initial monomials xαi ; i.e., those x-variables which occur (to nonzero power) in some xαi , |αi | ≥ 2.
Desingularization of toric and binomial varieties
The directed polymer escapes from these normal fluctuations because it is a one-dimensional path living in a 1 + d disordered sample : each configuration of the polymer only sees L random variables among the L1+d disorder variables that define the sample, and the polymer can ’choose’ the random variables it sees.
Random polymers and delocalization transitions
The clustering effect can be studied in a more formal way by introducing the notion of x-satisfiability [10, 11]. A CSN with N variables is said x-satisfiable (x-SAT) if there exists a pair of SAT assignments of the variables which differ in a number of variables ∈ [N x − ǫ(N ), N x + ǫ(N )].
Geometrical organization of solutions to random linear Boolean equations