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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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