Science Dictionary
variable   (vâr'ē-ə-bəl)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A mathematical quantity capable of assuming any of a set of values, such as x in the expression 3x + 2.

  2. A factor or condition that is subject to change, especially one that is allowed to change in a scientific experiment to test a hypothesis. See more at control.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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