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variance (n.)

late 14c., "fact of undergoing change," from Old French variance "change, alteration; doubt, hesitation" and directly from Latin variantia, from stem of variare "to change" (see vary). Meaning "state of disagreement" is recorded from early 15c. The U.S. zoning sense of "official dispensation from a building regulation" is recorded from 1925.

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Definitions of variance from WordNet

variance (n.)
an event that departs from expectations;
Synonyms: discrepancy / variant
variance (n.)
discord that splits a group;
Synonyms: division
variance (n.)
the second moment around the mean; the expected value of the square of the deviations of a random variable from its mean value;
variance (n.)
a difference between conflicting facts or claims or opinions;
variance (n.)
the quality of being subject to variation;
Synonyms: variability / variableness
variance (n.)
an official dispensation to act contrary to a rule or regulation (typically a building regulation);
a zoning variance
variance (n.)
an activity that varies from a norm or standard;
Synonyms: variation
From wordnet.princeton.edu