Definition of elegant variation in US English:

elegant variation


  • The stylistic fault of studiedly finding different ways to denote the same thing in a piece of writing, merely to avoid repetition.

    • ‘This false grace of elegant variation causes confusion because badly chosen synonyms distort the real meaning.’
    • ‘The existence of parallel strings or progressions is the condition that permits elegant variation in descriptions of enchained events.’
    • ‘I substituted ‘the author’ for ‘she,’ not for the sake of elegant variation, but rather to help me come closer to the target of 1,000 words that the book review editor gave me.’
    • ‘Threat may seem to be an elegant variation of terror - at first, we must stop terror; later on, we must stop the threat of terror.’