Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
In game design, variation is the process whereby the community of players, rather than any officiating authority, adapts the rules for informal play. If a variant becomes popular, it will often be published in a rules document like Hoyle's Rules of Games. It may supplant the original game. For example, Hearts is usually played with a variation whereby the Jack of Diamonds carries a -10 (desired, since points are penalty) point value, in a variant known as " Omnibus hearts".
Variation may refer to:
In ballet, a variation (sometimes referred to as a pas seul, meaning to dance alone) is a solo dance. In a classical grand pas de deux, the ballerina and danseur each perform a variation.
In astronomy, the variation of the Moon is one of the principal perturbations in the motion of the Moon.
The variation was discovered by Tycho Brahe, who noticed that, starting from a lunar eclipse in December 1590, at the times of syzygy (new or full moon), the apparent velocity of motion of the Moon (along its orbit as seen against the background of stars) was faster than expected. On the other hand, at the times of first and last quarter, its velocity was correspondingly slower than expected. (Those expectations were based on the lunar tables widely used up to Tycho's time. They took some account of the two largest irregularities in the Moon's motion, i.e. those now known as the equation of the center and the evection, see also Lunar theory - History.)
The main visible effect (in longitude) of the variation of the Moon is that during the course of every month, at the octants of the Moon's phase that follow the syzygies (i.e. halfway between the new or the full moon and the next-following quarter), the Moon is about two thirds of a degree farther ahead than would be expected on the basis of its mean motion (as modified by the equation of the centre and by the evection). But at the octants that precede the syzygies, it is about two thirds of a degree behind. At the syzygies and quarters themselves, the main effect is on the Moon's velocity rather than its position.
frame|right|Variational orbit: nearly an ellipse, with the Earth at the center. The diagram illustrates the perturbing effect of the Sun on the Moon's orbit, using some simplifying approximations, e.g. that in the absence of the Sun, the Moon's orbit would be circular with the Earth at its center In 1687 Newton published, in the ' Principia', his first steps in the gravitational analysis of the motion of three mutually-attracting bodies. This included a proof that the Variation is one of the results of the perturbation of the motion of the Moon caused by the action of the Sun, and that one of the effects is to distort the Moon's orbit in a practically elliptical manner (ignoring at this point the eccentricity of the Moon's orbit), with the centre of the ellipse occupied by the Earth, and the major axis perpendicular to a line drawn between the Earth and Sun.
The Variation has a period of half a synodic month and causes the Moon's ecliptic longitude to vary by nearly two-thirds of a degree, more exactly by +2370"sin(2D) where D is the mean elongation of the Moon from the Sun.
The variational distortion of the Moon's orbit is a different effect from the eccentric elliptical motion of a body in an unperturbed orbit. The Variation effect would still occur if the undisturbed motion of the Moon had an eccentricity of zero (i.e. circular). The eccentric Keplerian ellipse is another and separate approximation for the Moon's orbit, different from the approximation represented by the (central) variational ellipse. The Moon's line of apses, i.e. the long axis of the Moon's orbit when approximated as an eccentric ellipse, rotates once in about nine years, so that it can be oriented at any angle whatever relative to the direction of the Sun at any season. (The angular difference between these two directions used to be referred to, in much older literature, as the "annual argument of the Moon's apogee".) Twice in every period of just over a year, the direction of the Sun coincides with the direction of the long axis of the eccentric elliptical approximation of the Moon's orbit (as projected on to the ecliptic).
Thus the (central) elliptical distortion of the Moon's orbit caused by the variation should not be confused with an undisturbed eccentric elliptical motion of an orbiting body. The variational effects due to the Sun would still occur even if the hypothetical undisturbed motion of the Moon had an eccentricity of zero (i.e. even if in the absence of the Sun it would be circular).
Newton expressed an approximate recognition that the real orbit of the Moon is not exactly an eccentric Keplerian ellipse, nor exactly a central ellipse due to the variation, but "an oval of another kind". Newton did not give an explicit expression for the form of this "oval of another kind"; to an approximation, it combines the two effects of the central-elliptical variational orbit and the Keplerian eccentric ellipse. Their combination also continually changes its shape as the annual argument changes, and also as the evection shows itself in libratory changes in the eccentricity, and in the direction, of the long axis of the eccentric ellipse.
The Variation is the second-largest solar perturbation of the Moon's orbit after the Evection, and the third-largest inequality in the motion of the Moon altogether; (the first and largest of the lunar inequalities is the equation of the centre, a result of the eccentricity – which is not an effect of solar perturbation).
Variation is a characteristic of language: there is more than one way of saying the same thing. Speakers may vary pronunciation ( accent), word choice ( lexicon), or morphology and syntax (sometimes called " grammar"). But while the diversity of variation is great, there seem to be boundaries on variation – speakers do not generally make drastic alterations in sentence word order or use novel sounds that are completely foreign to the language being spoken. Language variation does not equate with language ungrammaticality, but speakers are still (often unconsciously) sensitive to what is and is not possible in their native tongue. Language variation is a core concept in sociolinguistics. Sociolinguists investigate whether this linguistic variation can be attributed to differences in the social characteristics of the speakers using the language, but also investigate whether elements of the surrounding linguistic context promote or inhibit the usage of certain structures.
Studies of language variation and its correlation with sociological categories, such as William Labov's 1963 paper "The social motivation of a sound change," led to the foundation of sociolinguistics as a subfield of linguistics. Although contemporary sociolinguistics includes other topics, language variation and change remains an important issue at the heart of the field.
Variation (game tree)
A Variation can refer to a specific sequence of successive moves in a turn-based game, often used to specify a hypothetical future state of a game that is being played. Although the term is most commonly used in the context of Chess analysis, it has been applied to other games. It also is a useful term used when describing computer tree-search algorithms (for example minimax) for playing games such as Go or Chess.
A variation can be any number of steps as long as each step would be legal if it were to be played. It is often as far ahead as a human or computer can calculate; or however long is necessary to reach a particular position of interest. It may also lead to a terminal state in the game, in which case the term "Winning Variation" or "Losing Variation" is sometimes used.
' Variation' (1827–1847) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare who won the classic Oaks Stakes at Epsom Downs Racecourse in 1830. The Oaks was Variation's racing debut and she went on to win a total of eight races from fifteen starts. Her other successes included three match races, the Oatlands Stakes, and two editions of the Garden Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse. Her best performance was probably her win in the 1831 Garden Stakes in which she defeated a very strong field over a distance of two miles. She was retired from racing in 1833 and had some success as a broodmare.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Variation \Va`ri*a"tion\, n. [OE. variatioun, F. variation, L. variatio. See Vary.]
The act of varying; a partial change in the form, position, state, or qualities of a thing; modification; alternation; mutation; diversity; deviation; as, a variation of color in different lights; a variation in size; variation of language.
The essences of things are conceived not capable of any such variation.
Extent to which a thing varies; amount of departure from a position or state; amount or rate of change.
(Gram.) Change of termination of words, as in declension, conjugation, derivation, etc.
(Mus.) Repetition of a theme or melody with fanciful embellishments or modifications, in time, tune, or harmony, or sometimes change of key; the presentation of a musical thought in new and varied aspects, yet so that the essential features of the original shall still preserve their identity.
(Alg.) One of the different arrangements which can be made of any number of quantities taking a certain number of them together.
Annual variation (Astron.), the yearly change in the right ascension or declination of a star, produced by the combined effects of the precession of the equinoxes and the proper motion of the star.
Calculus of variations. See under Calculus.
Variation compass. See under Compass.
Variation of the moon (Astron.), an inequality of the moon's motion, depending on the angular distance of the moon from the sun. It is greater at the octants, and zero at the quadratures.
Variation of the needle (Geog. & Naut.), the angle included between the true and magnetic meridians of a place; the deviation of the direction of a magnetic needle from the true north and south line; -- called also declination of the needle.
Syn: Change; vicissitude; variety; deviation.
n. an instance of change; the rate or magnitude of change [syn: fluctuation]
an activity that varies from a norm or standard; "any variation in his routine was immediately reported" [syn: variance]
a repetition of a musical theme in which it is modified or embellished
something a little different from others of the same type; "an experimental version of the night fighter"; "an emery wheel is a modern variant of the grindstone"; "the boy is a younger edition of his father" [syn: version, variant, edition]
an artifact that deviates from a norm or standard; "he patented a variation on the sandal"
(astronomy) any perturbation of the mean motion or orbit of a planet or satellite (especially a perturbation of the earth's moon)
(ballet) a solo dance or dance figure [syn: pas seul]
the act of changing or altering something slightly but noticeably from the norm or standard; "who is responsible for these variations in taxation?"
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
late 14c., "difference, divergence," from Old French variacion "variety, diversity" and directly from Latin variationem (nominative variatio) "a difference, variation, change," from past participle stem of variare "to change" (see vary). The musical sense is attested from 1801. Related: Variational.
n. The act of varying; a partial change in the form, position, state, or qualities of a thing
Usage examples of "variation".
That fecundation sometimes takes place from right to left and thus produces these abnormal variations.
Hotel, and has been attended by the most happy results, yet the cases have presented so great a diversity of abnormal features, and have required so many variations in the course of treatment, to be met successfully, that we frankly acknowledge our inability to so instruct the unprofessional reader as to enable him to detect the various systemic faults common to this ever-varying disease, and adjust remedies to them, so as to make the treatment uniformly successful.
It seems likely that she, too, was mercilessly abused just as her predecessors had been abused, with the addition of new and even more horrifying variations.
These patterns are abstracted for the most part from leaves and flowers - the rose, the lotus, the acanthus, palm, papyrus - and are elaborated, with recurrences and variations, into something transportingly reminiscent of the living geometries of the Other World.
It appears, then, that progressive degeneration of an organ can be adequately explained by variation with the removal of natural selection, and that it is not necessary or desirable to appeal to any Lamarckian factor of an unexplainable and undemonstrable nature.
There is no independent data indicating any variation whatever in the methods of the admixture of black or colored inks, which differentiates them from those used in the earliest times of the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews or Chinese.
He went to the bathroom to wash his hands, but this time he did not ask the mirror, metaphysically, What can this be, he had recovered his scientific outlook, the fact that agnosia and amaurosis are identified and defined with great precision in books and in practice, did not preclude the appearance of variations, mutations, if the word is appropriate, and that day seemed to have arrived.
It was so similar to agrimony that she thought of it as a variation of that herb -- but one of the other medicine women at the Clan Gathering had called it boneset, and used it for that purpose.
Moreover, it is but little affected by variations in alkalinity, which render the other finishing point quite useless.
The chanting was picked up by others, and soon most of the people were deeply involved in a mesmerizing sequence that consisted of repetitive phrases sung in a pulsating beat with little change in tone, alternating with arrhythmic drumming that had more tonal variation than the voices.
The assayer, however, uses the sample which he has dried for his moisture-determination, as the dry ore on which he makes his other assays, and no variation in moisture would influence the other and more important determinations.
As slight variation on a theme, linguistic as well as affective, this is his authorial signature.
From the undoubted fact that gene mutations like the Tay-Sachs mutation or chromosomal abnormalities like the extra chromosome causing Down syndrome are the sources of pathological variation, human geneticists have assumed that heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and bipolar syndrome must also be genetic variants.
We saw the two institutions as variations on each other,-doubtless the Birchers did not see it this way.
Priel Farm came in for a good deal of hatred by the Boche, and the variations in its contour was a daily source of interest to the troops in the vicinity.