• WordNet 3.6
    • n variation an activity that varies from a norm or standard "any variation in his routine was immediately reported"
    • n variation the act of changing or altering something slightly but noticeably from the norm or standard "who is responsible for these variations in taxation?"
    • n variation (ballet) a solo dance or dance figure
    • n variation an artifact that deviates from a norm or standard "he patented a variation on the sandal"
    • n variation something a little different from others of the same type "an experimental version of the night fighter","a variant of the same word","an emery wheel is the modern variation of a grindstone","the boy is a younger edition of his father"
    • n variation a repetition of a musical theme in which it is modified or embellished
    • n variation an instance of change; the rate or magnitude of change
    • n variation (biology) an organism that has characteristics resulting from chromosomal alteration
    • n variation (astronomy) any perturbation of the mean motion or orbit of a planet or satellite (especially a perturbation of the earth's moon)
    • n variation the process of varying or being varied
    • n variation the angle (at a particular location) between magnetic north and true north
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Variation (Gram) Change of termination of words, as in declension, conjugation, derivation, etc.
    • Variation Extent to which a thing varies; amount of departure from a position or state; amount or rate of change.
    • Variation (Alg) One of the different arrangements which can be made of any number of quantities taking a certain number of them together.
    • Variation (Mus) Repetition of a theme or melody with fanciful embellishments or modifications, in time, tune, or harmony, or sometimes change of key; the presentation of a musical thought in new and varied aspects, yet so that the essential features of the original shall still preserve their identity.
    • Variation The act of varying; a partial change in the form, position, state, or qualities of a thing; modification; alteration; mutation; diversity; deviation; as, a variation of color in different lights; a variation in size; variation of language. "The essences of things are conceived not capable of any such variation ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n variation The difference of offspring from the parent.
    • n variation Statistical or formal abnormality in living beings, or the departure of individual organisms from the mean, average, or rule for the race, considered as a fixed standard or logical species which individual animals approach or from which they recede.
    • n variation A change in a living being which is dne to its own activity as an individual, as contrasted with a change which is inherited. See the extract.
    • n variation A congenital or germinal change in a living being, which is not due to its own activity and is transmitted to descendants, as contrasted with a change which comes about in it by its own activity and is not transmitted to descendants.
    • n variation A change that may take place in an individual or a variety or species when its habitat changes.
    • n variation The amount of change which a quantity suffers in an hour: as, the hourly variation of the sun's declination.
    • n variation Variation which arises during the larval and later stages of development, as contrasted with variation which arises during the early embryonic stages.
    • n variation The act or process of varying; partial change in form, position, state, or qualities; alteration; mutation; diversity; variance; modification: as, variations of color; the slow variation of language.
    • n variation The extent to which a thing varies; the degree, interval, or amount of departure from a former condition, position, or relation; amount or rate of change: as, a variation of two degrees; a variation of twopence in the pound.
    • n variation Difference.
    • n variation Variance; dissension; discord.
    • n variation In grammar, change of form of words, as in declension, conjugation, etc.; inflection.
    • n variation In astronomy, any deviation from the mean orbit or mean motion of a heavenly body, occasioned by another disturbing body. When these deviations are compensated in comparatively short periods of time they are called periodic variations, but when the compensation requires an immense period of time for its consummation the variation is called a secular variation.
    • n variation In physics and navigation, the deviation of a magnetic needle from the true north, denoted by the angle which the vertical plane passing through the poles of the needle freely suspended, and undisturbed by local attraction, makes with the geographical meridian of the place: generally and more properly called declination. The variation of the compass does not remain constantly the same in the same place, but undergoes certain diurnal, secular, and accidental changes. Of these the diurnal changes amount to only a small fraction of a degree; the secular change, however, may amount to 20 or 30 or more, and goes through a long cycle requiring for its completion some three or four centuries. Thus, in the year 1576, in London, the variation was 11' 15' east; in 1652 the needle pointed due north, after which time it traveled about 24½ to the westward (the maximum being in 1815); the variation is now considerably less, and is continually decreasing. It is very different, however, in different parts of the globe. In the eastern part of the United States the variation is now westerly, and has been increasing since the last decade of the eighteenth century; but the annual change is now less than it was fifty years ago. In the western United States the variation is easterly, and has been in general diminishing; for a region in the extreme southwest, however, the needle is now stationary. The accidental variations are such as accompany magnetic storms, and are most frequent and violent at periods of about eleven and a half years, corresponding to the sun-spot period. See declination, agonic, isogonic.
    • n variation In biology, the act, process, or result of deviation from a given type of form or structure in a plastic vegetable or animal organization, by means of natural selection; or the sum of the phenomena resulting from the influence of conditions of environment, as opposed to those which would have been exhibited had the law of heredity alone been operative. See variability, 2, and variety, 6. Variation in the biological sense is the accomplishment of that which variability permits, environment requires, and selection directs; it covers the whole range of deviation from a given type, stock, or parent-form. Individual variation may be teratological, resulting in malformations or monstrosities, which are quite aside from the normal course of evolution, and probably never in perpetuity, though some freaks of nature, not decidedly pathological or morbid, are sometimes transmitted, as polydactylism in man, and the like. Another series of variations, less decidedly at variance with an ordinary development, and if not useless at least not hurtful to the organism, result in numberless sports, especially of cultivated plants and domesticated animals, which tend to perpetuation or may be perpetuated artificially. (See selection, 3 (artificial and methodical), sport, n., 8, and strain, 1.) The usual course of variation on a grand scale is believed to be by the natural selection of useful characters to be preserved and increased, with such decrease or extinction of their opposites as tends to their further improvement. The first decided steps in this direction are seeu in the (mainly geographical or climatic) varieties, races, subspecies, and conspecies of ordinary descriptive zoölogy and botany; a step further brings us to the species; and most biologists hold thatsuch increments of differences by insensible degrees have in fact resulted in the genus, the family, and all other distinctions which can be predicated among animals and plants. Variation is used in a more abstract sense, as nearly synonymous with variability: as, a theory of variation; and in a more concrete sense, like variety: as, this specimen is a variation of that one.
    • n variation In music, a tune or theme repeated with changes, elaborations, or embellishments, especially when made one of a series of movements aiming to develop the capacities of a given subject. The impulse to compose sets of variations of a melody was one of the early fruits of the desire for extended works in which an artistic unity should be manifest. In the beginning of this century this impulse was doubtless indulged to excess, ingenuity of mechanical invention and the desire for executive display being unduly prominent. But essentially the idea of the repetition of a given theme with decoration and transformation is involved in the whole theory of thematic development. The particular devices used to produce variations—such as melodic figuration, alteration of harmonic structure, change of mode or tonality, change of rhythm, etc.—are too many to be enumerated. Variations were formerly called doubles.
    • n variation In the calculus, an infinitesimal increment of a function, due to changes in the values of the constants, and affecting it, therefore, in different amounts for different values of the variables.
    • n variation In algebra: The following of a + sign after a—sign, or vice versa, in a row of signs.
    • n variation A linear arrangement of some of a given set of objects or of all. Thus, there are fifteen variations of the letters A, B, C, as follows: A, B, C, AB, BA, BC, CB, CA, AC, ABC, BCA, CAB, CBA, BAC, ACB.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Variation a varying: a change: change from one to another: successive change: the extent to which a thing varies: : : :
    • n Variation (gram.) change of termination
    • n Variation (mus.) a manner of singing or playing the same air with various changes in time, rhythm, or key
    • n Variation (astron.) deviation from the mean orbit of a heavenly body
    • n Variation (biol.) departure from the mean character of a species
    • ***


  • Lin Yu-tang
    Lin Yu-tang
    “All women's dresses are merely variations on the eternal struggle between the admitted desire to dress and the unadmitted desire to undress.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Nature is an endless combination and repetition of a very few laws. She hums the old well-known air through innumerable variations.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. variatioun, F. variation, L. variatio,. See Vary
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. variabilis.


In literature:

We find ourselves at every turn reawakening, with a variation, the sense of the previous position.
"The Sense of Beauty" by George Santayana
At Melbourne, however, there are important variations from this plan.
"The Ground Plan of the English Parish Church" by A. Hamilton Thompson
There is variation everywhere, and wherever there is variation there is gradation.
"The Heart of Nature" by Francis Younghusband
Such variations have been designated as "nominal variations" in the Australian courts.
"The Settlement of Wage Disputes" by Herbert Feis
With the Time Interval from Meridian Passage and the Variation, enter Table 27 to get the total amount of Variation of Altitude.
"Lectures in Navigation" by Ernest Gallaudet Draper
In the following there is hardly a sentence that has not some variation from literal language.
"English: Composition and Literature" by W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
Endless variations of this very simple yarn rug can be made with variation in size as well as in colour.
"How to make rugs" by Candace Wheeler
Subject to variations of phraseology, the old adage "circumstances alter cases" is the sole reliable and fundamental rule of action.
"Sound Military Decision" by U.s. Naval War College
It is in house-furnishing that the tendency of the daughter of the Quakers shows the most frequent variation.
"Quaker Hill" by Warren H. Wilson
Variation is an important fact in society as it is in nature generally.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park

In poetry:

Of moral life we'll take a view;
A scene of tender love pursue;
And as there variations be,
Perhaps we may a quarrel see.
"The Jack Daw" by William Hutton
To him ascend the prize orations
And sets of fugal variations
On some folk-ballad,
While dietitians sacrifice
A glass of prune-juice or a nice
Marsh-mallow salad.
"Under Which Lyre" by W H Auden
"Homage to Virtue as our Queen we pay,
And Wisdom, uttering her commands, obey;
Yet fondly own a more attractive power,
And hail thee, Temper! friend of every hour."
"The Triumphs Of Temper : Canto VI." by William Hayley
To whatever variation
Our posterity may turn
Hairy, squashy, or crustacean,
Bulbous-eyed or square of stern,
Tusked or toothless, mild or ruthless,
Towards that unknown god we yearn.
"Evolutionary Hymn" by C S Lewis
Clouds, days, and fashions, rise and wain; And only set to rise again.
If you some variations view,
'Tis all routine, there's nothing new.
Although the title which I state
Be small, you'll find my subject great
"The Wig" by William Hutton

In news:

Variations of chicken broth , stock.
Related Stories for Variations of chicken broth , stock.
Use this recipe as a base for the variations below.
I'm puzzled by all the variations of chefs' titles I see on menus these days.
33 Variations Written & Directed by Moisés Kaufman Through May 24 Eugene O'Neill Theatre 239 West 49th Street 212-239-6200.
Simply stated, Six Sigma focuses on reducing variation in our business' internal processes using.
Federal investigators said today that they had found huge variations in the approval and denial of Medicare claims for the same services in different states.
Some variation of the question has been popping up all over the blogosphere recently.
The Vesta VMC series, which includes both boxed and roller guideway models, are designed with high rpm and heavy-torque variations.
Variations for lute – Lutz Kirchhof.
This tip is a variation of the 'heads together' or 'buddy buzz' concept to get students engaged.
5 Variations on Fresh-Steamed Mussels .
The different colors represent variations in the planet's terrain.
I've seen at least seven different variations of my name on shirts there.
Experimenting with variations will build knowledge and confidence.

In science:

We have observed a variation in the height distribution, and attributed this variation to spatial mode overlap and gain competition.
Spatial Extent of Random Laser Modes
In this sense, distributions of dominated variation (and thus also those of consistent variation) are heavy-tailed.
Tails of random sums of a heavy-tailed number of light-tailed terms
H converges in L1(R) to PtH . (ii) If H has bounded variation in R then, for every t ≥ 0, PtH has also bounded variation.
Hydrodynamic behavior of one dimensional subdiffusive exclusion processes with random conductances
Instead of writing down the variational problem, let us see the optimal survival strategy the variational problem ‘encodes’.
Branching diffusions, superdiffusions and random media
The time variation of c implies a time variation of any mass.
The Speed of Light and the Hubble Parameter: The Mass-Boom Effect