control variable

noun
1.
Also called control. Statistics. a person, group, event, etc., that is used as a constant and unchanging standard of comparison in scientific experimentation. Compare dependent variable ( def 2 ), independent variable ( def 2 ).
2.
(in computer programming) a variable that is used to regulate the flow of control, or order of execution, generally the number of times a loop will execute.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  control variable
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  any factor that remains unchanged and strongly influences values; also, a factor held constant to test the relative impact of an independent variable
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Example sentences
The grid must remain stable and there are limits on how much you can control variable generation.
Each line in the control specifies the value for a control variable.
The magnitude and significance of the correlation remained the same when life change events was introduced as a control variable.
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