From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishvariablevar‧i‧a‧ble1 /ˈveəriəbəl $ ˈver-/ ●●○AWL adjective1CHANGE/BECOME DIFFERENTlikely to change often → varyExpect variable cloudiness and fog tomorrow.Interest rates can be highly variable.variable in size/shape/colour etcThese fish are highly variable in color and pattern.2BADsometimes good and sometimes badThe quality of pork is often less variable than beef.3CHANGE/MAKE something DIFFERENTable to be changedThe heater has variable temperature settings. —variably adverb —variability /ˌveəriəˈbɪləti $ ˌver-/ noun [uncountable]
variablevariable2 ●○○AWL noun [countable]1CHANGE/BECOME DIFFERENTsomething that may be different in different situations, so that you cannot be sure what will happen opp constantThere are too many variables in the experiment to predict the result accurately.2technicalHM a mathematicalquantity which can represent several different amounts opp constant
Examples from the Corpus
variable• This was used to infervalues of the Censusvariables for households which never returned a form.• The models may be extended to include observableexplanatoryvariables and simultaneity can be allowed for as in econometric models.• This time, extraneousvariables that might affectworkerproductivity would be tightly controlled.• The keyvariable is the LabradorCurrent.• There are too many variables to predict who will win the war.• The formulaattains a high mark when a diversity of variables is woven into a unifieddesign.• One variable or factor is altered at a time while all others remain constant.• These variables are only known locally to the definingprocedure or function.From Longman Business Dictionaryvariablevar‧i‧a‧ble1 /ˈveəriəbəlˈver-/ noun [countable]something that affects a situation in a way that means you cannot be sure what will happenInterest rates and earnings are the two most important variables in forecasting stock prices.The Japanese are subject to the sameeconomic variables as everybody else.variablevariable2 adjectiveACCOUNTINGFINANCEvariable costs, prices, interest rates etc change or can change and are not fixedThe value of fixed- andvariable-rate loans fell half a per cent.The new company will offer more attractivevariable annuities.