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Variation vs. Variety: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Variation refers to a change or slight difference in condition, amount, or level, while variety is a number of different types of things, especially in a group.
Variation vs. Variety

Key Differences

Variation and variety both pertain to differences within a group, but they are used in distinct contexts. Variation usually refers to an instance of change or the extent to which something changes. In contrast, variety denotes a state of diversity or a collection of different things or types. For example, genetic variation refers to the differences in DNA among individuals, whereas a variety show features a range of different entertainment acts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
Variation can be seen as the manifestation of diversity within a single entity or among a group of similar entities. It reflects the differences in characteristics, such as variations in color patterns of butterflies of the same species. Variety, on the other hand, encompasses a selection of different and distinct choices or options, like a variety of books on a shelf, which may span multiple genres and subjects.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
In terms of usage, variation is often a process or result of varying, as in musical variations on a theme, which shows how a base melody can be altered. Variety represents a collective concept, as in having a variety of interests, which indicates many different types of interests without focusing on the differences between each interest.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
Understanding variation is crucial in fields like biology, where it explains survival through adaptation. In the arts, variation is a creative tool. Variety is central in commerce and culture, providing a range of products or experiences, and catering to diverse preferences. A diet with a variety of foods can offer a range of nutrients, while variation in the diet might mean fluctuation in caloric intake from day to day.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Comparison Chart

Definition

A change or difference in condition or appearance.
A number of different things within a group.
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Nov 08, 2023
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Context

Usually refers to alterations within a single type.
Refers to an assortment of distinct types.
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Nov 08, 2023

Usage

Describes the extent or process of changing.
Indicates the presence of multiple options.
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Scope

Specific to an attribute or trait.
Broad, covering an entire category.
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Example

Color variation in flowers.
A variety of flowers in a garden.
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Nov 08, 2023

Variation and Variety Definitions

Variation

A deviation from a standard or norm.
Each handmade vase has slight variations.
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Nov 08, 2023
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Variety

A collection of different things or types.
The store offers a wide variety of fruits.
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Nov 08, 2023

Variation

A change or alteration in form, position, or character.
The variation in temperature throughout the year is significant.
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Nov 08, 2023

Variety

The quality or condition of being various or varied; diversity
We need to add some variety to the program.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variation

The act, fact, or process of varying.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

A number or collection of varied things, especially of a particular group; an assortment
Brought home a variety of snacks.
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Oct 19, 2023
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Variation

The extent or degree to which something varies
A variation of ten pounds in weight.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

Something that is distinguished from others of the same kind by a specific characteristic or set of characteristics
Varieties of minerals.
Varieties of socialism.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

Something different from another of the same type
Told a variation of an old joke.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

A form of a language that is used by a specific social group and differs from forms used by other social groups
Regional varieties of English.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variation

Magnetic declination.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

(Biology) A taxonomic subdivision of a species or subspecies consisting of a group of naturally occurring or selectively bred individuals that differ from other individuals of the species in certain minor characteristics.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

(Biology) The existence within a species or other group of organisms of differences in form, function, or behavior, especially when hereditary.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

A variety show.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

(Mathematics) A function that relates the values of one variable to those of other variables.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

(countable)
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

A form that is an altered version of a given theme, diverging from it by melodic ornamentation and by changes in harmony, rhythm, or key.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

A deviation or difference.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

One of a series of forms based on a single theme.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

A specific variation of something.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

A solo dance, especially one forming part of a larger work.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

A collection or number of different things.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

The act of varying; a partial change in the form, position, state, or qualities of a thing.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

Ellipsis of|en|variety performance}} or {{ellipsis of variety show
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

A related but distinct thing.
When the process didn't work, we tried a variation.
All of his soups are variations on a single recipe.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

(uncountable)
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

(nautical) The angular difference at the vessel between the direction of true north and magnetic north.
Magnetic declination
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

The quality of being varied; diversity.
Variety is the spice of life.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variation

(board games) A line of play that differs from the original.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

The kind of entertainment given in variety performances or shows; also, the production of, or performance in, variety performances or shows.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

(music) A technique where material is repeated with alterations to the melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, texture, counterpoint or orchestration; but with some invariant characteristic, e.g. a ground bass.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

The quality or state of being various; intermixture or succession of different things; diversity; multifariousness.
Variety is nothing else but a continued novelty.
The variety of colors depends upon the composition of light.
For earth hath this variety from heaven.
There is a variety in the tempers of good men.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variation

(genetics) The modification of a hereditary trait.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

That which is various.
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Variation

(astronomy) Deviation from the mean orbit of a heavenly body.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

A number or collection of different things; a varied assortment; as, a variety of cottons and silks.
He . . . wants more time to do that variety of good which his soul thirsts after.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

The act of varying; a partial change in the form, position, state, or qualities of a thing; modification; alteration; mutation; diversity; deviation; as, a variation of color in different lights; a variation in size; variation of language.
The essences of things are conceived not capable of any such variation.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

Such entertainment as in given in variety shows; the production of, or performance in, variety shows.
All sorts are here that all the earth yields!Variety without end.
But see in all corporeal nature's scene,What changes, what diversities, have been!
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variation

Extent to which a thing varies; amount of departure from a position or state; amount or rate of change.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variety

Something varying or differing from others of the same general kind; one of a number of things that are akin; a sort; as, varieties of wood, land, rocks, etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variation

Change of termination of words, as in declension, conjugation, derivation, etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variety

An individual, or group of individuals, of a species differing from the rest in some one or more of the characteristics typical of the species, and capable either of perpetuating itself for a period, or of being perpetuated by artificial means; hence, a subdivision, or peculiar form, of a species.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

Repetition of a theme or melody with fanciful embellishments or modifications, in time, tune, or harmony, or sometimes change of key; the presentation of a musical thought in new and varied aspects, yet so that the essential features of the original shall still preserve their identity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variety

In inorganic nature, one of those forms in which a species may occur, which differ in minor characteristics of structure, color, purity of composition, etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variation

One of the different arrangements which can be made of any number of quantities taking a certain number of them together.
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

A collection containing a variety of sorts of things;
A great assortment of cars was on display
He had a variety of disorders
A veritable smorgasbord of religions
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variation

An instance of change; the rate or magnitude of change
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

Noticeable heterogeneity;
A diversity of possibilities
The range and variety of his work is amazing
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

An activity that varies from a norm or standard;
Any variation in his routine was immediately reported
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

(biology) a taxonomic category consisting of members of a species that differe from others of the same species in minor but heritable characteristics;
Varieties are frequently recognized in botany
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

A repetition of a musical theme in which it is modified or embellished
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

A show consisting of a series of short unrelated performances
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

Something a little different from others of the same type;
An experimental version of the night fighter
An emery wheel is a modern variant of the grindstone
The boy is a younger edition of his father
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

A category of things distinguished by some common characteristic or quality;
Sculpture is a form of art
What kinds of desserts are there?
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

An artifact that deviates from a norm or standard;
He patented a variation on the sandal
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Oct 19, 2023

Variety

A difference that is usually pleasant;
He goes to France for variety
It is a refreshing change to meet a woman mechanic
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Oct 19, 2023

Variation

The angle (at a particular location) between magnetic north and true north
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variety

The quality or state of having different forms or types.
She enjoys the variety of tasks her job offers.
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Nov 08, 2023

Variation

(astronomy) any perturbation of the mean motion or orbit of a planet or satellite (especially a perturbation of the earth's moon)
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variety

Numerous and varied assorted items or people.
The festival celebrated cultural variety.
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Nov 08, 2023

Variation

(biology) an organism that has characteristics resulting from chromosomal alteration
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variety

A category within a species, distinguished by some characteristic.
This garden features several varieties of roses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Variation

(ballet) a solo dance or dance figure
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variety

Something which is different from another.
The library had a variety of new books this month.
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Nov 08, 2023

Variation

The act of changing or altering something slightly but noticeably from the norm or standard;
Who is responsible for these variations in taxation?
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Variation

A different version or form of something.
The director's cut is a variation of the original movie.
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Nov 08, 2023

Variation

Musical embellishment or alteration of a theme.
The composer introduced a variation of the main theme in the second movement.
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Nov 08, 2023

Variation

An instance of varying in quality or nature.
Genetic variation contributes to a species' evolution.
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Nov 08, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Does variety imply a difference in type or kind?

Yes, variety implies having multiple different types or kinds.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

What does variation mean?

Variation refers to a difference or change in something's form, quality, or nature.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Is variation always intentional?

No, variation can be a natural and spontaneous occurrence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Can variation occur within a variety?

Yes, each item within a variety can exhibit its own variations.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Does variety add value to a collection?

Yes, variety can enhance a collection by providing diversity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Does a variety show have variations?

A variety show features different acts, which may include variations of performances.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

How does variation affect an ecosystem?

Variation within species contributes to the health and resilience of ecosystems.
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Nov 08, 2023

How is variety used in a sentence?

Variety is used to refer to a number of different things within a certain category.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Can variety exist in opinions?

Yes, a group of people can have a variety of opinions on a topic.
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Nov 08, 2023

Are variations always noticeable?

Not always; some variations can be subtle and hard to detect.
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Nov 08, 2023

What does a variety store sell?

A variety store sells a wide range of miscellaneous goods.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Is there variation in language?

Languages exhibit variations such as accents, dialects, and idioms.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Can a single artist have a variety of styles?

Yes, an artist can develop a variety of styles throughout their career.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Is genetic variation important?

Genetic variation is crucial for the adaptability and survival of species.
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Nov 08, 2023

Is variety necessary in a balanced diet?

Yes, a variety of foods ensures a range of nutrients.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Do artists use variation in their work?

Artists often use variation to create interest and depth in their work.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

What constitutes a variety in gardening?

In gardening, a variety refers to plants distinguished by specific characteristics.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Can you have variations of a product?

Yes, products can come in variations like different sizes or colors.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

How is variation used in statistics?

In statistics, variation is used to measure how much data points differ from the average.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Does having variety always mean better quality?

Not necessarily; while variety offers choices, it doesn't always indicate superior quality.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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