Define: Explanatory Variable

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Explanatory Variable


Quick Summary of Explanatory Variable


An explanatory variable (also known as an independent variable), is a variable that can be manipulated so as to analyse the effect on another (or the dependent variable).



What is the dictionary definition of Explanatory Variable?

Dictionary Definition


An alternative phrase used for referring to the independent variable.

An explanatory variable is a type of independent variable. The two terms are often used interchangeably. However, there is a subtle difference between the two meanings. When a variable is independent, it is considered unaffected by any other variables. When a variable isn’t known (for certain) to be independent, it’s known as an explanatory variable.


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Full Definition of Explanatory Variable


An explanatory variable (also known as an independent variable), is a variable that can be manipulated so as to analyse the effect on another (or the dependent variable).

In layman terms, the explanatory variables are the variables that try to explain your Y variable. Suppose in a model you have SALES as the Y variable. You may take price, distribution, media etc as variables that would explain the sales (Y).

Note: A response variable is a particular quantity that we ask a question about in our study. An explanatory variable is any factor that can influence the response variable.


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Examples of Explanatory Variable in a sentence


Using the explanatory variable I am able to compare the results of the experiment to that of the control group and arrive at a conclusion pertaining to the hypothesis.

There may be an explanatory variable that changes how everything else operates even though it is just a small thing.



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Definition Sources


Definitions for Explanatory Variable are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • BusinessDictionary.com
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 2nd December 2019.