General English

  • noun the amount of difference between two things


  • noun the discrepancy between the actual cost of an asset or business activity and the standard or expected cost


  • Permission granted to a landowner to depart from the specific requirements of a zoning ordinance or other regulatory requirement. A variance allows a landowner to use his or her land differently than specified in the ordinance.
  • A written authorization from the responsible agency permitting construction in a manner that is not allowed by a code or ordinance.
  • The difference between what was originally expected and what actually happened.


  • noun a difference, especially that between what was planned and the actual results


  • In statistics, the value obtained by adding the squares of the differences between each number and the mean value of a set, series, or population, and dividing by the number of members of said set. The square root of variance is called standard deviation.

Health Economics

  • (written as Variance)
    A measure of the dispersion of a set of numbers. It is the standard deviation squared. The variance of a population is the squared deviations of the measurements from their mean divided by the size of the population. The variance of a sample uses the sample means in the calculation of the squared deviations and the sample size minus one as the denominator. In accounting and budgeting practice, 'variance' is the difference between a budgeted amount and the outturn.