Etymology
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variable (adj.)

late 14c., of persons, "apt to change, fickle," from Old French variable "various, changeable, fickle," from Late Latin variabilis "changeable," from variare "to change" (see vary). Of weather, seasons, etc., attested from late 15c.; of stars, from 1788.

variable (n.)

"quantity that can vary in value," 1816, from variable (adj.) in mathematical sense of "quantitatively indeterminate" (1710). Related: Variably; variability.

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Definitions of variable
1
variable (n.)
something that is likely to vary; something that is subject to variation;
the weather is one variable to be considered
variable (n.)
a quantity that can assume any of a set of values;
Synonyms: variable quantity
variable (n.)
a star that varies noticeably in brightness;
Synonyms: variable star
variable (n.)
a symbol (like x or y) that is used in mathematical or logical expressions to represent a variable quantity;
2
variable (adj.)
liable to or capable of change;
rainfall in the tropics is notoriously variable
variable expenses
variable winds
variable (adj.)
marked by diversity or difference;
nature is infinitely variable
Synonyms: varying
variable (adj.)
(used of a device) designed so that a property (as e.g. light) can be varied;
a variable capacitor
variable filters in front of the mercury xenon lights
From wordnet.princeton.edu