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  1. A decrease in the value of a variable. 2. To decrease a variable in steps

Related Terms


A mode of control in which there is a continuous linear relation between value of the controller variable and position of the final control element (modulating control).


Variable Range Marker a radar feature


The value of the controlled variable which the controller operates to maintain.


Light variable winds on calm waters producing scattered areas of small waves.


The equatorial trough, with special reference to the light and variable nature of the winds.


  1. A depression of the sea floor approximately equidimensional in plan view and of variable extent. 2. An area of water surrounded by quay walls, usually created or enlarged by excavation, large enough to receive one or more ships for a specific purpose. 3. An area of land which drains into a lake or sea through a river and its tributaries. 4. A nearly land-locked area of water leading off an inlet, firth, or sound.


A North Pacific Ocean current flowing southeast- ward along the west coast of North America from a point west of Vancouver Island to the west of Baja (Lower) California where it gradually widens and curves southward and southwestward, to continue as the westerly flowing PACIFIC NORTH EQUATO- RIAL CURRENT. The California Current is the southern branch of the Aleutian Current, augmented by the North Pacific Current, and forms the eastern part of the general clockwise oceanic circulation of the North Pacific Ocean. Although usually described as a permanent ocean current, the California Current is actually a poorly defined and variable flow easily influenced by the winds. See also MEXICO CURRENT


  1. The low alluvial land, deposited in a more or less triangular form, as the Greek letter delta, at the mouth of a river, which is often cut by several distributaries of the main stream. 2. A change in a variable quantity, such as a change in the value of the declination of a celestial body.


The time scale used by astronomers as the tabular argument of the precise fundamental ephemerides of the sun, moon and planets. It is the independent variable in the gravitational theories of the solar system. It is determined in arrears from astronomical observations and extrapolated into the future, based on International Atomic Time.


A device for introducing a variable resistance of regulating the volumetric flow of gas or air.

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