noun var·i·ance \ˈver-ē-ən(t)s\

: an amount of difference or change

law : an official decision or document that allows someone to do something that is not usually allowed by the rules

Full Definition of VARIANCE

:  the fact, quality, or state of being variable or variant :  difference, variation <yearly variance in crops>
:  the fact or state of being in disagreement :  dissension, dispute
:  a disagreement between two parts of the same legal proceeding that must be consonant
:  a license to do some act contrary to the usual rule <a zoning variance>
:  the square of the standard deviation
at variance
:  not in harmony or agreement

First Known Use of VARIANCE

14th century

Synonym Discussion of VARIANCE

discord, strife, conflict, contention, dissension, variance mean a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony. discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism <a political party long racked by discord>. strife emphasizes a struggle for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the persons or things involved <during his brief reign the empire was never free of civil strife>. conflict usually stresses the action of forces in opposition but in static applications implies an irreconcilability as of duties or desires <the conflict of freedom and responsibility>. contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy <several points of contention about the new zoning law>. dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions <religious dissension threatened to split the colony>. variance implies a clash between persons or things owing to a difference in nature, opinion, or interest <cultural variances that work against a national identity>.


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