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variable

var·i·a·ble / ˈve(ə)rēəbəl/ • adj. 1. not consistent or having a fixed pattern; liable to change: the quality of hospital food is highly variable awards can be for variable amounts. ∎  (of a wind) tending to change direction. ∎  Math. (of a quantity) able to assume different numerical values. ∎  Bot. & Zool. (of a species) liable to deviate from the typical color or form, or to occur in different colors or forms. 2. able to be changed or adapted: the drill has variable speed. ∎  (of a gear) designed to give varying ratios or speeds. • n. an element, feature, or factor that is liable to vary or change: there are too many variables involved to make any meaningful predictions. ∎  Math. a quantity that during a calculation is assumed to vary or be capable of varying in value. ∎  Comput. a data item that may take on more than one value during or between programs. ∎  Astron. short for variable star. ∎  (variables) the region of light, variable winds to the north of the northeast trade winds or (in the southern hemisphere) between the southeast trade winds and the westerlies. DERIVATIVES: var·i·a·bil·i·ty / ˌve(ə)rēəˈbilitē/ n.var·i·a·ble·ness n.var·i·a·bly / -blē/ adv.

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"variable." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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variable

variable In the physical sciences, variables are the characteristics of entities which are physically manipulated, such as the heat or volume of a substance. In the social sciences, the term refers to attributes which are fixed for each person or other social entity, but which are observed to be at different levels, amounts, or strengths across samples and other aggregate groups. Variables measure a social construct (such as social class, age, or housing type) in a way which renders it amenable to numerical analysis. Thus, the key feature of a variable is that it is capable of reflecting variation within a population, and is not a constant.

There are various difficulties involved in the process of creating variables from constructs (operationalization). The central considerations here are validity (that the variable is a true measurement of the construct it is aimed at) and reliability (that its measurement is reliable).

Variables may be measured at different levels of measurement, but the basic distinction is between continuous variables such as income, and categoric or discrete variables such as class. Relatively few social variables are continuous—forming interval scales such as income or age. Most are discrete, forming ordinal and nominal scales, such as highest educational qualification obtained, or sex, respectively. The different levels of measurement have implications for the types of analysis that can be undertaken.

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variable

variable (vair-i-ă-bŭl) n. a characteristic relating to an individual or group that is subject to variation. continuous v. a variable found at any point on a numerical scale (e.g. weight). dependent v. the variable in a study or experiment that is controlled by the independent variable and measured to determine the outcome of the study. discrete v. a variable found only at a fixed point on a numerical scale (e.g. body weight). independent v. the variable in a study or experiment that is manipulated in order to define the conditions of the study. qualitative v. a descriptive characteristic, such as sex, race, or occupation. quantitative v. a variable relating to a numerical scale, which may be continuous or discrete.

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variable

variable liable to vary. XIV. — (O)F. — L. variābilis, f. variāre VARY; see -ABLE.
Hence variability XVIII. So variance variation, difference XIV; discrepancy; dissension XV (at v. XVI). — OF. — L. variantia. variant †inconstant, not uniform; diverse, differing (from) XIV; sb. XIX. — (O)F. variation †difference, divergence XIV; fact or instance of varying XVI. — (O)F. or L.

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variable

variable In mathematics, symbol used to represent an unspecified quantity. Variables are used to express a range of possible values. For example, in the expression x2 + x + 1, the quantity x may be assigned the value of any real number; here x is said to be an independent variable. If y is defined by y = x2 + x + 1, then y is a dependent variable because its value depends on the value of x.

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variable

variable
1. A unit of storage that can be modified during program execution, usually by assignment or read operations. A variable is generally denoted by an identifier or by a name.

2. The name that denotes a modifiable unit of storage.

3. See parameter.

4. In logic, a name that can stand for any of a possibly infinite set of values.

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