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3 definitions found
 for variation
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Variation \Va`ri*a"tion\, n. [OE. variatioun, F. variation, L.
     variatio. See Vary.]
     1. The act of varying; a partial change in the form,
        position, state, or qualities of a thing; modification;
        alteration; mutation; diversity; deviation; as, a
        variation of color in different lights; a variation in
        size; variation of language.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The essences of things are conceived not capable of
              any such variation.                   --Locke.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Extent to which a thing varies; amount of departure from a
        position or state; amount or rate of change.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. (Gram.) Change of termination of words, as in declension,
        conjugation, derivation, etc.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. (Mus.) Repetition of a theme or melody with fanciful
        embellishments or modifications, in time, tune, or
        harmony, or sometimes change of key; the presentation of a
        musical thought in new and varied aspects, yet so that the
        essential features of the original shall still preserve
        their identity.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     5. (Alg.) One of the different arrangements which can be made
        of any number of quantities taking a certain number of
        them together.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Annual variation (Astron.), the yearly change in the right
        ascension or declination of a star, produced by the
        combined effects of the precession of the equinoxes and
        the proper motion of the star.
  
     Calculus of variations. See under Calculus.
  
     Variation compass. See under Compass.
  
     Variation of the moon (Astron.), an inequality of the
        moon's motion, depending on the angular distance of the
        moon from the sun. It is greater at the octants, and zero
        at the quadratures.
  
     Variation of the needle (Geog. & Naut.), the angle included
        between the true and magnetic meridians of a place; the
        deviation of the direction of a magnetic needle from the
        true north and south line; -- called also declination of
        the needle.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Syn: Change; vicissitude; variety; deviation.
          [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  variation
      n 1: an instance of change; the rate or magnitude of change
           [syn: variation, fluctuation]
      2: an activity that varies from a norm or standard; "any
         variation in his routine was immediately reported" [syn:
         variation, 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"; "a variant of
         the same word"; "an emery wheel is the modern variation of a
         grindstone"; "the boy is a younger edition of his father"
         [syn: version, variant, variation, 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, variation]
      7: the process of varying or being varied
      8: (astronomy) any perturbation of the mean motion or orbit of a
         planet or satellite (especially a perturbation of the earth's
         moon)
      9: (biology) an organism that has characteristics resulting from
         chromosomal alteration [syn: mutant, mutation,
         variation, sport]
      10: (ballet) a solo dance or dance figure [syn: pas seul,
          variation]
      11: the act of changing or altering something slightly but
          noticeably from the norm or standard; "who is responsible
          for these variations in taxation?"

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  321 Moby Thesaurus words for "variation":
     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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