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# variable

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## CIDE DICTIONARY

variablea. [L. variabilis: cf. F. variable.].
•  Having the capacity of varying or changing; capable of alternation in any manner; changeable; as, variable winds or seasons; a variable quantity.  [1913 Webster]
•  Liable to vary; too susceptible of change; mutable; fickle; unsteady; inconstant; as, the affections of men are variable; passions are variable.  [1913 Webster]
"Lest that thy love prove likewise variable."  [1913 Webster]
"His heart, I know, how variable and vain!"  [1913 Webster]
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.
variablen.
•  That which is variable; that which varies, or is subject to change.  [1913 Webster]
•  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.  [1913 Webster]
•  A shifting wind, or one that varies in force.  [1913 Webster]
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. Thus, in the equation 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.

## OXFORD DICTIONARY

1 a that can be varied or adapted (a rod of variable length; the pressure is variable). b (of a gear) designed to give varying speeds.
2 apt to vary; not constant; unsteady (a variable mood; variable fortunes).
3 Math. (of a quantity) indeterminate; able to assume different numerical values.
4 (of wind or currents) tending to change direction.
5 Astron. (of a star) periodically varying in brightness.
6 Bot. & Zool. (of a species) including individuals or groups that depart from the type.
7 Biol. (of an organism or part of it) tending to change in structure or function.
--n.
1 a variable thing or quantity.
2 Math. a variable quantity.
3 Naut. a a shifting wind. b (in pl.) the region between the NE and SE trade winds.

Derivative
variability n. variableness n. variably adv.
Etymology
ME f. OF f. L variabilis (as VARY)

## THESAURUS

### variable

able to adapt, adaptable, adjustable, adrift, afloat, agnostic, alterable, alterative, alternating, ambiguous, amorphous, broken, capricious, careening, catchy, chancy, changeable, changeful, changing, checkered, choppy, desultory, deviable, deviating, deviative, deviatory, dicey, different, disconnected, discontinuous, disorderly, divaricate, divergent, diversified, diversiform, dizzy, doubting, eccentric, equivocal, erose, erratic, ever-changing, fast and loose, fickle, fitful, flexible, flickering, flighty, flitting, fluctuating, fluid, freakish, giddy, guttering, halting, herky-jerky, hesitant, hesitating, heteroclite, immethodical, impermanent, impetuous, impulsive, incalculable, inconsistent, inconstant, indecisive, indemonstrable, infirm, intermittent, intermitting, irregular, irresolute, irresponsible, jagged, jerky, kaleidoscopic, lurching, malleable, many-sided, mazy, mercurial, metamorphic, mobile, modifiable, moody, motley, movable, mutable, nonconformist, nonstandard, nonuniform, patchy, permutable, plastic, pluralistic, polysemous, protean, proteiform, ragged, rambling, resilient, restless, rough, roving, rubbery, scatterbrained, scrappy, shapeless, shifting, shifty, shuffling, skeptical, slippery, snatchy, spasmatic, spasmic, spasmodic, spastic, spineless, sporadic, spotty, staggering, supple, temperamental, ticklish, touch-and-go, transient, transitory, uncertain, unconfirmable, uncontrolled, unconvinced, undependable, undisciplined, undivinable, unequable, unequal, uneven, unfixed, unforeseeable, unmethodical, unmetrical, unorthodox, unpersuaded, unpredictable, unprovable, unregular, unreliable, unrestrained, unrhythmical, unsettled, unstable, unstable as water, unstaid, unsteadfast, unsteady, unsure, unsystematic, ununiform, unverifiable, vacillating, vagrant, variegated, variform, various, varying, veering, vicissitudinary, vicissitudinous, volatile, wandering, wanton, wavering, wavery, wavy, wayward, whimsical, wishy-washy, wobbling, wobbly

## ROGET THESAURUS

### Irregularity of recurrence

N irregularity of recurrence, irregularity, uncertainty, unpunctuality, fitfulness, capriciousness, ecrhythmus, irregular, uncertain, unpunctual, capricious, desultory, fitful, flickering, rambling, rhapsodical, spasmodic, immethodical, unmethodical, variable, irregularly, by fits and starts.

### Changeableness

N changeableness, mutability, inconstancy, versatility, mobility, instability, unstable equilibrium, vacillation, fluctuation, vicissitude, alternation, restlessness, fidgets, disquiet, disquietude, inquietude, unrest, agitation, moon, Proteus, chameleon, quicksilver, shifting sands, weathercock, harlequin, Cynthia of the minute, April showers, wheel of Fortune, transientness, changeable, changeful, changing, mutable, variable, checkered, ever changing, protean, proteiform, versatile, unstaid, inconstant, unsteady, unstable, unfixed, unsettled, fluctuating, restless, agitated, erratic, fickle, irresolute, capricious, touch and go, inconsonant, fitful, spasmodic, vibratory, vagrant, wayward, desultory, afloat, alternating, alterable, plastic, mobile, transient, wavering, seesaw, off and on, a rolling stone gathers no moss, pictra mossa non fa muschis, honores mutant mores, varium et mutabile semper femina.

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