The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Variable \Va"ri*a*ble\, a. [L. variabilis: cf. F. variable.]
1. Having the capacity of varying or changing; capable of
alternation in any manner; changeable; as, variable winds
or seasons; a variable quantity.
2. Liable to vary; too susceptible of change; mutable;
fickle; unsteady; inconstant; as, the affections of men
are variable; passions are variable.
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable. --Shak.
His heart, I know, how variable and vain! --Milton.
Variable exhaust (Steam Eng.), a blast pipe with an
Variable quantity (Math.), a variable.
Variable-rate mortgage (Finance), a mortgage whose
percentage interest rate varies depending on some agreed
standard, such as the prime rate; -- used often in
financing the purchase of a home. Such a mortgage usually
has a lower initial interest rate than a fixed-rate
mortgage, and this permits buyers of a home to finance
the purchase a house of higher price than would be
possible with a fixed-rate loan.
Variable stars (Astron.), fixed stars which vary in their
brightness, usually in more or less uniform periods.
Syn: Changeable; mutable; fickle; wavering; unsteady;