Va"ri*a*ble, n. 1. That which is variable; that which varies, or is subject to change.
(Math.) A quantity which may increase or decrease; a quantity which admits of an infinite number of values in the same expression; a variable quantity; as, in the equation x2 - y2 = R2,
(Naut.) (a) A shifting wind, or one that varies in force. (b) pl. Those parts of the sea where a steady wind is not expected, especially the parts between the trade-wind belts.
(Math.), that one of two or more variables, connected with each other in any way whatever, to which changes are supposed to be given at will. Thus, in the equation x2 - y2 = R2, if arbitrary changes are supposed to be given to
x is the
independent variable, and
y is called a
x. There may be two or more independent variables in an equation or problem. Cf.
Dependent variable, under Dependent.
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Mon 10th December 2018