Variation means a deviation from the norm, like the variation of colors in nature.

A variation from an accepted standard can be very important. For example, a variation in a heartbeat pattern can tell a doctor that a heart attack might be imminent. The variation in weather temperatures from what is expected indicates that our climate is changing due to global warming. But not all variation is a bad thing. For example, even within breeds, there is a wide variation in the coloration of dogs, a trait that makes each puppy uniquely lovable.

Definitions of variation
  1. noun
    the process of varying or being varied
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    (statistics) correlated variation
    type of:
    physical process, process
    a sustained phenomenon or one marked by gradual changes through a series of states
  2. noun
    an instance of change; the rate or magnitude of change
    synonyms: fluctuation
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    show 11 types...
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    a variation in circumstances or fortune at different times in your life or in the development of something
    (chemistry) variability in chemical composition without variation in crystalline form
    departure, deviation, difference, divergence
    a variation that deviates from the standard or norm
    permutation, replacement, substitution, switch, transposition
    an event in which one thing is substituted for another
    business cycle, trade cycle
    recurring fluctuations in economic activity consisting of recession and recovery and growth and decline
    daily variation
    fluctuations that occur between one day and the next
    diurnal variation
    fluctuations that occur during each day
    something that may increase or decrease (like the tides of the sea)
    discrepancy, variance, variant
    an event that departs from expectations
    the deviation (by a vessel or aircraft) from its intended course due to drifting
    flection, flexion, inflection
    deviation from a straight or normal course
    type of:
    alteration, change, modification
    an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another
  3. noun
    the act of changing or altering something slightly but noticeably from the norm or standard
    “who is responsible for these variations in taxation?”
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    type of:
    the action of changing something
  4. noun
    an activity that varies from a norm or standard
    “any variation in his routine was immediately reported”
    synonyms: variance
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    type of:
    any specific behavior
  5. noun
    something a little different from others of the same type
    “an emery wheel is the modern variation of a grindstone”
    synonyms: edition, variant, version
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    type of:
    a subdivision of a particular kind of thing
  6. noun
    an artifact that deviates from a norm or standard
    “he patented a variation on the sandal”
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    bastard, mongrel
    derogatory term for a variation that is not genuine; something irregular or inferior or of dubious origin
    type of:
    an artifact
  7. noun
    a repetition of a musical theme in which it is modified or embellished
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    (counterpoint) a variation of a melody or part in which ascending intervals are replaced by descending intervals and vice versa
    one of the variations contained in a partita
    type of:
    idea, melodic theme, musical theme, theme
    (music) melodic subject of a musical composition
  8. noun
    (biology) an organism that has characteristics resulting from chromosomal alteration
    synonyms: mutant, mutation, sport
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    freak, lusus naturae, monster, monstrosity
    a person or animal that is markedly unusual or deformed
    the largest or most massive thing of its kind
    type of:
    being, organism
    a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently
  9. noun
    (astronomy) any perturbation of the mean motion or orbit of a planet or satellite (especially a perturbation of the earth's moon)
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    (astronomy) a real or apparent slow oscillation of a moon or satellite
    type of:
    (physics) a secondary influence on a system that causes it to deviate slightly
  10. noun
    (ballet) a solo dance or dance figure
    synonyms: pas seul
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    type of:
    dance, dancing, saltation, terpsichore
    taking a series of rhythmical steps (and movements) in time to music
  11. noun
    the angle (at a particular location) between magnetic north and true north
    synonyms: magnetic declination, magnetic variation
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    type of:
    the space between two lines or planes that intersect; the inclination of one line to another; measured in degrees or radians
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