A variant is anything that is based on something else/created from an original thing. Like Arena Football is a variant of American Football, and Tetrinet and Tetris Attack are both variants of Tetris. All variants must have something to do with the original (content wise, i.e. just adding ix to windows98 startup screen wouldn't make "windix" a unix variant) to be a variant.

In planes, a variant is a specific type or model. Usually used to describe prototypes. The JSF has many variants that are all based off of the same design, but are designed for specific objectives. Four of the variants are used to perform different functions. For example: the USMC version has VSTOL capabilities and the USN version has a strengthened structure. The SR-71 has many variants including ones with a pilot and a navigator. Others were designed to be high capability fighters for the USAF.

In the context of computer programming, a variant is an OLE Automation type used to make up for the lack of method overloading in COM. It is a data structure that contains a union of these data types: unsigned char, short, long, float, double, VARIANT_BOOL, SCORE, CY, DATE, BSTR, IUnknown *, IDispatch *, SAFEARRAY *, VARIANT *, and void *.

Va"ri*ant (?), a. [L. varians, p. pr. of variare to change: cf. F. variant. See Vary.]

1.

Varying in from, character, or the like; variable; different; diverse.

2.

Changeable; changing; fickle.

[Obs.]

He is variant, he abit [abides] nowhere. Chaucer.

 

© Webster 1913.


Va"ri*ant (?), n. [Cf. F. variante.]

Something which differs in form from another thing, though really the same; as, a variant from a type in natural history; a variant of a story or a word.

 

© Webster 1913.

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