Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of variable
Meaning of variable by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈveə( ɹ ).i.ə.bl̩/, X-SAMPA: /"ve@( r\ ).i.@.bl=/
    • ( US ) IPA: /ˈveɹ.i.ə.bl̩/, /ˈvæɹ.i.ə.bl̩/, X-SAMPA: /"vEr\.i.@.bl=/, /"v{r\.i.@.bl=/


    From Old French variable, from Latin variare ( “to change” ), from varius ( “different, various” ) .


    variable ( comparative more variable, superlative most variable )

    1. able to vary
    2. likely to vary
    3. marked by diversity or difference
    4. ( mathematics ) having no fixed quantitative value
    5. ( biology ) tending to deviate from a normal or recognized type



    Derived terms




    • See also Wikisaurus:variable

    See also

    External links

    • variable in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • variable in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
    • variable at OneLook Dictionary Search

Explanation of variable by Wordnet Dictionary


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

    2. a variable capacitor
      variable filters in front of the mercury xenon lights
    3. liable to or capable of change

    4. rainfall in the tropics is notoriously variable
      variable winds
      variable expenses
    5. marked by diversity or difference

    6. nature is infinitely variable
    1. a quantity that can assume any of a set of values

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

    3. something that is likely to vary

    4. the weather is one variable to be considered
    5. a star that varies noticeably in brightness

    Definition of variable by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Variable a. [L. variabilis: cf. F. variable.]
      1. Having the capacity of varying or changing; capable of alternation in any manner; changeable; as, “variable winds or seasons; a variable quantity.”

      2. Liable to vary; too susceptible of change; mutable; fickle; unsteady; inconstant; as, “the affections of men are variable; passions are variable.”

      Lest that thy love prove likewise variable. Shak.

      His heart, I know, how variable and vain! Milton.

      Variable exhaust ( Steam Eng. ), a blast pipe with an adjustable opening. -- Variable quantity ( Math. ), a variable. -- Variable-rate mortgage ( Finance ), a mortgage whose percentage interest rate varies depending on some agreed standard, such as the prime rate; -- used often in financing the purchase of a home. Such a mortgage usually has a lower initial interest rate than a fixed-rate mortgage, and this permits buyers of a home to finance the purchase a house of higher price than would be possible with a fixed-rate loan. -- Variable stars ( Astron. ), fixed stars which vary in their brightness, usually in more or less uniform periods.

      Syn. -- Changeable; mutable; fickle; wavering; unsteady; versatile; inconstant.

    2. Variable, n.
      1. That which is variable; that which varies, or is subject to change.

      2. ( Math. ) A quantity which may increase or decrease; a quantity which admits of an infinite number of values in the same expression; a variable quantity; as, “in the equation x2 - y2 = R2, x and y are variables”.

      3. ( Naut. ) A shifting wind, or one that varies in force. pl. Those parts of the sea where a steady wind is not expected, especially the parts between the trade-wind belts.

      Independent variable ( Math. ), that one of two or more variables, connected with each other in any way whatever, to which changes are supposed to be given at will. “x2 - y2 = R2, if arbitrary changes are supposed to be given to x, then x is the independent variable, and y is called a function of x.” There may be two or more independent variables in an equation or problem. Cf. Dependent variable, under Dependent.