1. That which is inconstant, which can or does change, as contrasted with a constant. 2. Deviating from the type in structure, form, physiology, or behavior. [L. vario, to vary, change, differ]
- continuous v. a v. that may take on any value in an interval or intervals (its domain).
- continuous random v. continuous v. that may randomly assume any value in its domain but any particular value has no probability of occurring, only a probability density.
- dependent v. in experiments, a v. that is influenced by or dependent upon changes in the independent v.; e.g., the amount of a written passage retained (dependent v.) as a function of the different numbers of minutes (independent v.) allowed to study the passage.
- discrete v. a v. that may assume only a countable (usually finite) number of values.
- discrete random v. a random v. that may assume a countable number of values, each with a probability strictly greater than zero.
- independent v. a characteristic being measured or observed that is hypothesized to influence another event or manifestation (the dependent v.) within a defined area of relationships under study; that is, the independent v. is not influenced by the event or manifestation, but may cause it or contribute to its variation. See dependent v..
- intermediate v. a v. in a causal pathway that causes variation in the dependent v. and is itself caused to vary by the independent v..
- intervening v. an event, such as an attitude or emotion, inferred to occur within an organism between the stimulation and response in such a way as to influence or determine the response.
- mixed discrete-continuous random v. a random v. that may assume some values with probabilities and others with probability densities. For example, in a 35-year-old man with familial polyposis of the colon, the distribution of time until malignant disease occurs consists of a probability that he already has cancer (which would be assigned the waiting time 0), a probability density of developing it in the future, and a probability that he will die of some other cause before he develops cancer.
- moderator v. a v. that interacts by virtue of being antecedent or intermediate in the causal pathway.
- random v. a v. that may assume a set of values, each with fixed probabilities or probability densities (its distribution), in such a way that the total probability assigned to the distribution is unity; the random v. may be discrete, continuous, or mixed discrete-continuous.

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vari·able 'ver-ē-ə-bəl, 'var- adj
1) able or apt to vary: subject to variation or changes <allergy is perhaps the most \variable of all diseases (H. G. Rapaport & Shirley Linde)>
2) characterized by variations
3) not true to type: ABERRANT used of a biological group or character
vari·abil·i·ty .ver-ē-ə-'bil-ət-ē, .var- n, pl -ties
variable n something that is variable

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(in biostatistics) a characteristic (e.g. morbidity, lifestyle, or habit) relating to a single individual or group. Qualitative variables are descriptive characteristics, such as sex, race, or occupation; quantitative variables relate to a numerical scale and are subdivided into discrete variables, found only at fixed points (e.g. number of children), and continuous variables, found at any point on a scale (e.g. weight).

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var·i·a·ble (varґe-ə-bəl) [L. variare to change] 1. changing from time to time. 2. in mathematics, a symbol that represents an arbitrary number or an arbitrary element of a set.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • variable — [ varjabl ] adj. et n. • fin XII e; lat. variabilis 1 ♦ Qui est susceptible de se modifier, de changer souvent au cours d une durée. ⇒ changeant, 1. incertain, instable. Temps variable. N. m. Météor. L aiguille du baromètre est au variable, sur… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Variable — Va ri*a*ble, a. [L. variabilis: cf. F. variable.] [1913 Webster] 1. Having the capacity of varying or changing; capable of alternation in any manner; changeable; as, variable winds or seasons; a variable quantity. [1913 Webster] 2. Liable to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • variable — adj. de tout genre. Sujet à varier, qui change souvent. En ce climat les saisons sont fort variables. temps variable. vent variable. la fortune est variable. c est un esprit variable. il est variable dans ses opinions, dans ses resolutions …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • variable — (Del lat. variabĭlis). 1. adj. Que varía o puede variar. 2. Inestable, inconstante y mudable. 3. f. Mat. Magnitud que puede tener un valor cualquiera de los comprendidos en un conjunto. variable estadística. f. Mat. Magnitud cuyos valores están… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

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  • variable — ► ADJECTIVE 1) not consistent or having a fixed pattern; liable to vary. 2) able to be changed or adapted. 3) Mathematics (of a quantity) able to assume different numerical values. ► NOUN 1) a variable element, feature, or quantity. 2) Astronomy… …   English terms dictionary

  • variable — sujeto a variación. Inestable, inconstante y mudable. Valor numérico sobre el que puede establecerse una curva de variabilidad Diccionario ilustrado de Términos Médicos.. Alvaro Galiano. 2010. variable Factor de un experimento científico que… …   Diccionario médico

  • variable — [ver′ē ə bəl, var′ē ə bəl] adj. [ME < MFr < L variabilis] 1. apt or likely to change or vary; changeable, inconstant, fickle, fluctuating, etc. 2. that can be changed or varied 3. Biol. tending to deviate in some way from the type; aberrant …   English World dictionary

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