Meaning of VARIANCE in English


ˈverēən(t)s, ˈva(a)r-, ˈvār- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English variaunce, from Middle French, from Latin variantia, from variant-, varians (present participle of variare ) + -ia -y


a. : the fact, quality, or state of being variable or variant : variation , difference , deviation

account for the variance in crops

a daily variance of one degree Fahrenheit

the variance between reports

b. : an instance of variableness : a degree of difference : discrepancy

a variance in the testimony

send the bill to conference to iron out variances in House and Senate bills — Springfield (Massachusetts) Union

c. : a difference between what has been expected or predetermined and what actually occurs ; specifically : a difference between a standard and an historical cost or between a budgeted and an actual expense


a. : the fact or state of being in disagreement : a difference of opinion producing dispute or controversy : dissension , discord

forestall variance among the heirs

b. : an instance of this

friends who have never had a variance


a. : a disagreement or difference between two parts (as the writ and the declaration, or the allegation and the proof) of the same legal proceeding that to be effectual ought to agree

b. : a permission or license to do some act contrary to the usual rule and used especially of grants of permission or authorizations to build contrary to the provisions of an otherwise applicable zoning ordinance or building code

4. : the number of degrees of freedom possessed by a physical-chemical system especially when it is in equilibrium — compare phase rule

5. : the square of the standard deviation : the mean square of the deviations from the arithmetic mean of a frequency distribution — symbol σ 2

Synonyms: see discord

- at variance

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.