ADJ. considerable, dramatic, enormous, extreme, great, major, marked, significant, striking, substantial, tremendous, wide | minor, slight, small, subtle subtle variations of colour and design | numerous | endless, infinite | complex | random | systematic | local, regional | climatic, cultural, environmental, ethnic, genetic, geographical, hereditary, language, linguistic | annual, daily, day-to day, seasonal, year-to-year
VERB + VARIATION show The businesses showed a dramatic variation in how they treated their staff. | find, observe Considerable variation was found in the terms offered by different banks. | analyse
VARIATION + VERB occur
PREP. ~ according to variation according to the time of year | ~ across She is studying language variation across the social range. | ~ among variation among the students in terms of ability | ~ between variations between different accents | ~ by There is little variation by sex or social class in these attitudes. | ~ in slight variations in pressure | ~ with temperature variation with altitude | ~ within There may be striking variations within a species.
PHRASES a range of variation, a variation on a theme His numerous complaints are all variations on a theme.