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variant (adj.)

late 14c., "tending to change," from Old French variant and directly from Latin variantem (nominative varians), present participle of variare "to change" (see vary).

variant (n.)

"something substantially the same, but in different form," 1848, from variant (adj.).

[proof-reader]: Slip 20. Nuri, Emir of the Ruwalla, belongs to the 'chief family of the Rualla.' On Slip 33 'Rualla horse,' and Slip 38, 'killed one Rueili.' In all later slips 'Rualla.'
[author]: Should have also used Ruwala and Ruala.
[from publisher's note to "Revolt in the Desert," T.E. Lawrence, 1927]

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Definitions of variant
1
variant (n.)
an event that departs from expectations;
Synonyms: discrepancy / variance
variant (n.)
(biology) a group of organisms within a species that differ in trivial ways from similar groups;
Synonyms: form / strain / var.
variant (n.)
a variable quantity that is random;
Synonyms: random variable / variate / stochastic variable / chance variable
variant (n.)
something a little different from others of the same type;
a variant of the same word
Synonyms: version / variation / edition
2
variant (adj.)
differing from a norm or standard;
a variant spelling
variant (adj.)
exhibiting variation and change;
letters variant in size
From wordnet.princeton.edu