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Meaning of variable

var•i•a•ble

Pronunciation: (vâr'ē-u-bul), [key]
— adj.
  1. apt or liable to vary or change; changeable: variable weather; variable moods.
  2. capable of being varied or changed; alterable: a variable time limit for completion of a book.
  3. inconstant; fickle: a variable lover.
  4. having much variation or diversity.
  5. deviating from the usual type, as a species or a specific character.
  6. (of a star) changing in brightness.
  7. (of wind) tending to change in direction.
  8. having the nature or characteristics of a variable.
—n.
  1. something that may or does vary; a variable feature or factor.
    1. a quantity or function that may assume any given value or set of values.
    2. a symbol that represents this.
  2. (in the functional calculus) a symbol for an unspecified member of a class of things or statements. Cf.
  3. See
    1. a shifting wind, esp. as distinguished from a trade wind.
    2. variables,doldrums (def. 2a).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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