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