1a change or slight difference in condition, amount, or level, typically within certain limits:regional variations in house prices [mass noun]:the figures showed marked variation from year to year Astronomy a deviation of a celestial body from its mean orbit or motion. Mathematics a change in the value of a function due to small changes in the values of its argument or arguments. (also magnetic variation) the angular difference between true north and magnetic north at a particular place. [mass noun] Biology the occurrence of an organism in more than one distinct colour or form.
2a different or distinct form or version of something:hurling is an Irish variation of hockey Music a version of a theme, modified in melody, rhythm, harmony, or ornamentation, so as to present it in a new but still recognizable form:Elgar’s Enigma Variations Ballet a solo dance as part of a performance: he makes the preparation for his variation with utmost care and accuracy