AskDefine | Define variation

Dictionary Definition



1 an instance of change; the rate or magnitude of change [syn: fluctuation]
2 an activity that varies from a norm or standard; "any variation in his routine was immediately reported" [syn: variance]
3 a repetition of a musical theme in which it is modified or embellished
4 something a little different from others of the same type; "an experimental version of the night fighter"; "an emery wheel is a modern variant of the grindstone"; "the boy is a younger edition of his father" [syn: version, variant, edition]
5 an artifact that deviates from a norm or standard; "he patented a variation on the sandal"
6 the angle (at a particular location) between magnetic north and true north [syn: magnetic declination, magnetic variation]
7 (astronomy) any perturbation of the mean motion or orbit of a planet or satellite (especially a perturbation of the earth's moon)
8 (biology) an organism that has characteristics resulting from chromosomal alteration [syn: mutant, mutation, sport]
9 (ballet) a solo dance or dance figure [syn: pas seul]
10 the act of changing or altering something slightly but noticeably from the norm or standard; "who is responsible for these variations in taxation?"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A distinct group of objects or things
  2. The angular difference at the vessel between the direction of true north and magnetic north. Also called magnetic declination.
  3. a line of play that differs from the original


difference between true and magnetic (compass) north
(board games) a line of play that differs from the original

See also

Derived terms


  • US FM 55-501 MARINE CREWMAN’S HANDBOOK; 1 December 1999

Extensive Definition

Variation means an instance of change or the rate or magnitude of change. It may refer to:
  • Magnetic variation, difference between magnetic north and true north, measured as an angle
  • Variation (astronomy), any perturbation of the mean motion or orbit of a planet or satellite, particularly of the Moon
variation in Czech: Variace
variation in German: Variation
variation in Spanish: Variación
variation in Galician: Variación
variation in Lithuanian: Variacija
variation in Norwegian: Variasjon
variation in Polish: Wariacja
variation in Portuguese: Variação
variation in Russian: Вариация
variation in Slovak: Variácia
variation in Finnish: Variaatio
variation in Ukrainian: Варіація

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Nachtmusik, Proteus, aberrancy, aberration, about-face, absolute music, accommodation, adaptation, adjustment, air varie, aleatory, aleatory music, allotropism, allotropy, alteration, altering, alternation, amelioration, anacrusis, analysis, anatomization, apostasy, arrangement, atomization, bass passage, bend, betterment, bias, bourdon, branching off, break, bridge, burden, cadence, capriciousness, chamber music, chamber orchestra, change, change of heart, change of pace, changeability, changeableness, changing, choice, choppiness, chorus, circuitousness, coda, composition, constructive change, continuity, contrariety, contrast, conversion, corner, crook, curve, dappleness, declination, defection, deflection, degeneration, degenerative change, demarcation, departure, descant, desultoriness, desynonymization, deterioration, detour, development, deviability, deviance, deviancy, deviation, deviousness, difference, differencing, differentiation, differing, digression, disaccord, disaccordance, disagreement, disconformity, discongruity, discontinuity, discordance, discrepancy, discreteness, discrimination, discursion, disequalization, disjunction, disorder, disparity, dissent, dissimilarity, dissonance, distinction, distinctness, distinguishment, divagation, divarication, divergence, divergency, diversification, diversion, diversity, division, dogleg, double, drift, drifting, eccentricity, electronic music, errantry, erraticism, etude, excursion, excursus, exercise, exorbitation, exposition, far cry, fickleness, figure, fitting, flightiness, flip-flop, fluctuation, folderol, freakishness, gradual change, hairpin, harmonic close, harmonization, her infinite variety, heterogeneity, heteromorphism, improvement, impulsiveness, inaccordance, incidental music, incompatibility, incongruity, inconsistency, inconsonance, inconstancy, indirection, individualization, individuation, inequality, inharmoniousness, inharmony, instability, instrumental music, interlude, intermezzo, introductory phrase, invention, irreconcilability, irregularity, jerkiness, manifoldness, measure, melioration, mercuriality, mitigation, mixture, modification, modifying, modulation, moodiness, motleyness, movement, multifariousness, multiplicity, musical phrase, musical sentence, mutability, mutation, nocturne, nonconformism, nonconformity, nonstandardization, nonuniformity, novelty, obliquity, odds, omnifariousness, omniformity, opposition, opus, orchestration, ornament, oscillation, otherness, overthrow, part, particularization, passage, pendulation, pererration, period, permutation, personalization, phrase, piece, pluralism, polymorphism, production, program music, qualification, radical change, raggedness, rambling, re-creation, realignment, redesign, reform, reformation, refrain, remaking, renewal, reshaping, resolution, response, restlessness, restructuring, reversal, revival, revivification, revolution, ricercar, ritornello, score, section, seesawing, segregation, separateness, separation, severalization, severance, shapeshifter, sheer, shift, shiftiness, shifting, shifting course, shifting path, shuffling, skew, slant, sonata, sonatina, specialization, stanza, statement, strain, straying, string orchestra, string quartet, study, sudden change, sweep, swerve, swerving, swinging, switch, tack, tailpiece, teeter-tottering, teetering, theme and variations, total change, tottering, transition, trio, turn, turnabout, turning, tutti, tutti passage, twist, uncertainty, unconformism, unconformity, undependability, unfixedness, unlikeness, unorthodoxy, unpredictability, unreliability, unsettledness, unstableness, unsteadfastness, unsteadiness, upheaval, vacillation, variability, variance, variegation, variety, variousness, varying, veer, versatility, verse, vicissitude, violent change, wandering, wantonness, warp, wavering, waywardness, whimsicality, work, worsening, yaw, zigzag
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