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Va·ri·a·ble, n.

1. That which is variable; that which varies, or is subject to change.

2. Math. A quantity which may increase or decrease; a quantity which admits of an infinite number of values in the same expression; a variable quantity; as, in the equation x² - y² = R², *x* and *y* are variables.

3. Naut. (a) A shifting wind, or one that varies in force. (b) pl. Those parts of the sea where a steady wind is not expected, especially the parts between the trade-wind belts.

**Independent variable** Math., that one of two or more variables, connected with each other in any way whatever, to which changes are supposed to be given at will. Thus, in the equation x² - y² = R², if arbitrary changes are supposed to be given to *x*, then *x* is the independent variable, and *y* is called a *function* of *x*. There may be two or more independent variables in an equation or problem. Cf. Dependent variable, under Dependent.

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De·pend·ent a.

1. Hanging down; as, a dependent bough or leaf.

2. Relying on, or subject to, something else for support; not able to exist, or sustain itself, or to perform anything, without the will, power, or aid of something else; not self-sustaining; subordinate; -- often with __on__ or __upon__; as, dependent on God; dependent upon friends. Opposite of independent. [Narrower terms: interdependent, mutualist, mutually beneficial; parasitic, parasitical, leechlike, bloodsucking; subordinate; underage; myrmecophilous; symbiotic] Also See: unfree.

*England, long dependent and degraded, was again a power of the first rank.* --*Macaulay.*

**Dependent covenant** *or* **Dependent contract** Law, one not binding until some connecting stipulation is performed.

**Dependent variable** Math., a varying quantity whose changes are arbitrary, but are regarded as produced by changes in another variable, which is called the independent variable.

In·de·pend·ent a.

1. Not dependent; free; not subject to control by others; not relying on others; not subordinate; as, few men are wholly independent.

*A dry, but independent crust.* --*Cowper.*

2. Affording a comfortable livelihood; as, an independent property.

3. Not subject to bias or influence; not obsequious; self-directing; as, a man of an independent mind.

4. Expressing or indicating the feeling of independence; free; easy; bold; unconstrained; as, an independent air or manner.

5. Separate from; exclusive; irrespective.

*That obligation in general, under which we conceive ourselves bound to obey a law, independent of those resources which the law provides for its own enforcement.* --*R. P. Ward.*

6. Eccl. Belonging or pertaining to, or holding to the doctrines or methods of, the Independents.

7. Math. Not dependent upon another quantity in respect to value or rate of variation; -- said of quantities or functions.

8. U. S. Politics Not bound by party; exercising a free choice in voting with either or any party.

**Independent company** Mil., one not incorporated in any regiment.

**Independent seconds watch**, a stop watch having a second hand driven by a separate set of wheels, springs, etc., for timing to a fraction of a second.

**Independent variable**. Math. See Dependent variable, under Dependent.

Syn: -- Free; uncontrolled; separate; uncoerced; self-reliant; bold; unconstrained; unrestricted.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

dependent variable

n : (statistics) a variable in a logical or mathematical

expression whose value depends in the independent

variable; if f(x)=y, y is the dependent variable