Pronunciation: (vâr"ē-ā'shun), [key]
1. the act, process, or accident of varying in condition, character, or degree: Prices are subject to variation.
2. an instance of this: There is a variation in the quality of fabrics in this shipment.
3. amount, rate, extent, or degree of change: a temperature variation of 40° in a particular climate.
4. a different form of something; variant.
5. Music.
a. the transformation of a melody or theme with changes or elaborations in harmony, rhythm, and melody.
b. a varied form of a melody or theme, esp. one of a series of such forms developing the capacities of the subject.
6. Ballet.a solo dance, esp. one forming a section of a pas de deux.
7. Astron.any deviation from the mean orbit of a heavenly body, esp. of a planetary or satellite orbit.
8. Also called magnetic declination, magnetic variation. Navig.the angle between the geographic and the magnetic meridian at a given point, expressed in plus degrees east or minus degrees west of true north. Cf. deviation (def. 4).
9. Biol.a difference or deviation in structure or character from others of the same species or group.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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