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VARIABLE

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does variable mean? 

VARIABLE (noun)
  The noun VARIABLE has 4 senses:

1. something that is likely to vary; something that is subject to variation
2. a quantity that can assume any of a set of values
3. a star that varies noticeably in brightness
4. a symbol (like x or y) that is used in mathematical or logical expressions to represent a variable quantity

  Familiarity information: VARIABLE used as a noun is uncommon.


VARIABLE (adjective)
  The adjective VARIABLE has 3 senses:

1. liable to or capable of change
2. marked by diversity or difference
3. (used of a device) designed so that a property (as e.g. light) can be varied

  Familiarity information: VARIABLE used as an adjective is uncommon.


 Dictionary entry details 


VARIABLE (noun)


Sense 1variable [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Something that is likely to vary; something that is subject to variation

Classified under:

Nouns denoting natural objects (not man-made)

Context example:

the weather is one variable to be considered

Hypernyms ("variable" is a kind of...):

thing (a separate and self-contained entity)


Sense 2variable [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A quantity that can assume any of a set of values

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents

Synonyms:

variable quantity; variable

Hypernyms ("variable" is a kind of...):

quantity (something that has a magnitude and can be represented in mathematical expressions by a constant or a variable)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "variable"):

argument (a variable in a logical or mathematical expression whose value determines the dependent variable; if f(x)=y, x is the independent variable)

vector (a variable quantity that can be resolved into components)

tensor (a generalization of the concept of a vector)

scalar (a variable quantity that cannot be resolved into components)

chance variable; random variable; stochastic variable; variant; variate (a variable quantity that is random)

infinitesimal ((mathematics) a variable that has zero as its limit)

predictor variable (a variable that can be used to predict the value of another variable (as in statistical regression))

dependent variable ((statistics) a variable in a logical or mathematical expression whose value depends in the independent variable; if f(x)=y, y is the dependent variable)

degree of freedom ((statistics) an unrestricted variable in a frequency distribution)

correlate; correlative (either of two correlated variables)

experimental variable; independent variable ((statistics) a variable whose values are independent of changes in the values of other variables)


Sense 3variable [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A star that varies noticeably in brightness

Classified under:

Nouns denoting natural objects (not man-made)

Synonyms:

variable star; variable

Hypernyms ("variable" is a kind of...):

star ((astronomy) a celestial body of hot gases that radiates energy derived from thermonuclear reactions in the interior)

Instance hyponyms:

North Star; polar star; Polaris; pole star; polestar (the brightest star in Ursa Minor; at the end of the handle of the little dipper; the northern axis of the earth points toward it)


Sense 4variable [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A symbol (like x or y) that is used in mathematical or logical expressions to represent a variable quantity

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Hypernyms ("variable" is a kind of...):

symbol (an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "variable"):

placeholder (a symbol in a logical or mathematical expression that can be replaced by the name of any member of specified set)

unknown; unknown quantity (a variable whose values are solutions of an equation)


VARIABLE (adjective)


Sense 1variable [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Liable to or capable of change

Context examples:

rainfall in the tropics is notoriously variable / variable winds / variable expenses

Similar:

versatile (changeable or inconstant)

variant (exhibiting or tending to variation and change)

shifting (continuously varying)

protean (taking on different forms)

multivariate (pertaining to any procedure involving two or more variables)

covariant (changing so that interrelations with another variable quantity or set of quantities remain unchanged)

changeable; uncertain; unsettled (subject to change)

Also:

inconstant (likely to change frequently often without apparent or cogent reason; variable)

inconsistent (displaying a lack of consistency)

Antonym:

invariable (not liable to or capable of change)


Sense 2variable [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Marked by diversity or difference

Synonyms:

varying; variable

Context examples:

the varying angles of roof slope / nature is infinitely variable

Similar:

varied (characterized by variety)


Sense 3variable [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(used of a device) designed so that a property (as e.g. light) can be varied

Context examples:

a variable capacitor / variable filters in front of the mercury xenon lights

Similar:

adaptable (capable of adapting (of becoming or being made suitable) to a particular situation or use)


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