tending to change or alter; exhibiting variety or diversity; varying: variant shades of color.
not agreeing or conforming; differing, especially from something of the same general kind.
not definitive, as a version of part of a text; different; alternative: a variant reading.
not universally accepted.
a person or thing that varies.
a different spelling, pronunciation, or form of the same word: “Vehemency” is a variant of “vehemence.”

1325–75; Middle English < Latin variant-, stem of variāns, present participle of variāre to vary; see -ant

nonvariant, adjective, noun
unvariant, adjective

variable, variant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
variant (ˈvɛərɪənt)
1.  liable to or displaying variation
2.  differing from a standard or type: a variant spelling
3.  obsolete not constant; fickle
4.  something that differs from a standard or type
5.  statistics another word for variate
[C14: via Old French from Latin variāns, from variāre to diversify, from variusvarious]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1380, from O.Fr. variant, from L. variantem (nom. varians), prp. of variare "to change" (see vary). The noun is first attested 1848.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

variant var·i·ant (vâr'ē-ənt, vār'-)

  1. Having or exhibiting variation; differing.

  2. Tending or liable to vary; variable.

  3. Deviating from a standard, usually by only a slight difference.

Something that differs in form only slightly from something else.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
How much tolerance people have depends on which gene variants and the number of
  copies of those genes they posses.
And we're not comfortable with some of its variants.
All three variants, however, may under different conditions produce ambiguity
  or worse.
Methanol and ethanol are variants of alcohol, and they have different
  properties and uses.
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