Definition of “variance” - English Dictionary

“variance” in English

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uk /ˈveə.ri.əns/ us /ˈver.i.əns/

[ C or U ] formal the fact that two or more things are different, or the amount or number by which they are different:

There has been some unusual variance in temperature this month.
I could detect subtle variances in fragrance as we strolled through the garden.

[ C ] US specialized law official permission to do something that is not normally allowed:

We had to get a (zoning) variance before we could build the extension on our house.
be at variance (with sb/sth)

to be in disagreement with someone or something, or to be different from him, her, or it:

Young people's reactions to world events are often at variance with those of their parents.
Her public and private personas are at variance.

(Definition of “variance” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“variance” in American English

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variancenoun [ C ]

us /ˈveər·i·əns, ˈvær-/

permission to do something differently from the official or usual way:

He requested a variance to build an addition to his house.


(Definition of “variance” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“variance” in Business English

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uk /ˈveəriəns/ us

[ C or U ] a difference between two or more or things:

We found a wide variance in the size, shape, and design of digital projectors.
The government fears that too much variance in the treatment of Scottish and English students could cause political strain.

[ C ] ACCOUNTING the difference between the costs, sales, etc. expected during a particular period, and the final costs, etc:

Weekly sales variances are more volatile and ultimately less meaningful.

[ C ] US LAW, PROPERTY a change in a law, especially one involving the use of property, that is allowed by a local government in particular situations:

apply for/request/seek a variance The power company has applied for a variance to the county rule on burying lines.
grant/deny a variance They filed a lawsuit against trustees after they were denied a variance to build a home on 17.82 acres.
He says he requested a zoning variance but that the county refused to process it.

(Definition of “variance” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)