The weather in San Francisco is known for its variability. One minute it's summer and the next, winter. Variability means the tendency to shift or change — of being "variable."

There are many words that contain vari-, and they almost all have to do with change or difference. Variability is the noun version of this idea. The variability of the weather means that you never know exactly what to wear. T-shirt or sweater: the choices vary along with the weather. Many things are known for their variability: the taste of teenagers, the talent of the singers on "American Idol," Frank Sinatra's moods. These are just some of the things that exhibit real variability.

Definitions of variability
  1. noun
    the quality of being subject to variation
    synonyms: variableness, variance
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    invariability, invariableness, invariance
    the quality of being resistant to variation
    characterized by variation
    variability in coloration
    personal equation
    variability attributable to individual differences
    type of:
    changeability, changeableness
    the quality of being changeable; having a marked tendency to change
  2. noun
    the quality of being uneven and lacking uniformity
    synonyms: unevenness
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    evenness, invariability
    a quality of uniformity and lack of variation
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    the quality of abounding in rocks and stones
    the quality of being topologically uneven
    something irregular like a bump or crack in a smooth surface
    unevenness in quality or performance
    unevenness produced by waves or wrinkles
    the quality of being hilly
    type of:
    irregularity, unregularity
    not characterized by a fixed principle or rate; at irregular intervals
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