Definition of VARIATION


Variation is a noun that denotes the act, process, or instance of changing, modifying, or deviating from a standard, norm, or expected pattern. It encompasses differences, alterations, or fluctuations in characteristics, attributes, or conditions within a particular context or system.

Genetic Variation: In biology, variation refers to differences in genetic traits, characteristics, or phenotypes among individuals within a population or species. Genetic variation arises from genetic mutations, recombination, and gene flow, contributing to diversity, adaptation, and evolution over time.

Statistical Variation: In statistics, variation represents the dispersion, spread, or variability of data points around a central tendency, such as the mean or median. Measures of statistical variation include range, variance, standard deviation, and coefficient of variation, providing insights into the degree of data dispersion and distributional shape.

Environmental Variation: Environmental factors can also contribute to variation in biological traits or phenotypes. Environmental variation encompasses differences in habitat, climate, nutrition, exposure to pollutants, and other external factors that influence organismal development, behavior, and physiological responses.

Cultural Variation: Variation extends beyond biological and environmental realms to encompass cultural differences, diversity, and practices across societies, communities, or ethnic groups. Cultural variation encompasses linguistic differences, social norms, customs, traditions, rituals, and belief systems, reflecting the richness and complexity of human societies.

Musical Variation: In music, variation refers to the repetition and alteration of musical themes, motifs, or melodies within a composition. Variations can involve changes in rhythm, harmony, tempo, dynamics, instrumentation, or interpretation, showcasing the composer’s creativity and providing listeners with diverse musical experiences.

Economic Variation: Variation plays a significant role in economic contexts, reflecting fluctuations, changes, or disparities in economic indicators, market conditions, prices, wages, employment rates, and business cycles. Economic variation can impact consumer behavior, investment decisions, and government policies, influencing economic stability and growth.

Quality Variation: In manufacturing and production, variation pertains to differences or inconsistencies in product quality, performance, or specifications. Quality variation can result from variations in raw materials, production processes, equipment performance, or human factors, affecting product reliability, customer satisfaction, and brand reputation.

In conclusion, variation encompasses changes, differences, or deviations from a standard, norm, or expected pattern across biological, environmental, cultural, musical, economic, and quality domains. Whether manifesting as genetic diversity, statistical dispersion, cultural differences, or musical creativity, variation reflects the dynamic nature of natural and human systems, shaping diversity, adaptation, innovation, and progress.

Examples of VARIATION in a sentence

  • The scientist observed a significant variation in temperature between day and night in the desert.
  • The artist explored creative variations of the same theme in their series of paintings.
  • There was a subtle variation in the flavor profile of the wines produced in different regions.
  • The musician incorporated a delightful variation in the melody during the live performance.
  • Over time, the population of a species may experience genetic variations that contribute to its adaptation to the environment.
  • The fashion designer presented a collection with diverse variations of the same garment, showcasing versatility.
  • The software engineer identified a bug causing unexpected variations in the program’s output.
  • The mathematician studied the variations in data trends to analyze patterns and make predictions.


The term variation has undergone a linguistic evolution reflecting changes in scientific understanding, cultural perspectives, and mathematical discourse over time.

  • Latin Roots: The term originates from the Latin word “variatio,” derived from “varius,” meaning “varied” or “diverse.” In its early usage, it denoted the existence of differences or diversity within a given context.
  • Old French Influence: Transitioning into Old French, the term evolved into “variation,” retaining its essence of diversity or difference. This period saw the term gaining significance in fields such as music and literature, where it described the introduction of diverse elements or modifications within a composition or narrative.
  • Middle English Adoption: In Middle English, the term “variation” solidified its usage in various domains, including natural sciences, mathematics, and social sciences. It encompassed notions of change, variability, and deviation from a standard or norm, reflecting advancements in observational and analytical methods.
  • Modern English Usage: In contemporary usage, “variation” encompasses a wide range of meanings and applications across diverse fields of study. It describes differences, deviations, or modifications within a system, pattern, or dataset, serving as a fundamental concept in disciplines such as biology, statistics, linguistics, and sociology.

From its Latin roots through Old French influence to its adoption into Middle and Modern English, the term variation reflects humanity’s ongoing exploration of diversity, change, and complexity in the natural and social worlds.


  • Fluctuation
  • Divergence
  • Deviation
  • Modification
  • Alteration
  • Diversity
  • Discrepancy
  • Distinction


  • Uniformity
  • Consistency
  • Invariability
  • Sameness
  • Stability
  • Continuity
  • Unchangingness
  • Regularity


  • Change
  • Adaptation
  • Anomaly
  • Mutability
  • Shift
  • Transformation
  • Adjustment
  • Diversity

🌐 🇬🇧 VARIATION in other languages

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