- AKA: Nominal Variable, Discrete Variable.
- See: Discrete Variable, Categorical Attribute, Categorical Function.
- QUOTE: A categorical variable (sometimes called a nominal variable) is one that has two or more categories, but there is no intrinsic ordering to the categories. For example, gender is a categorical variable having two categories (male and female) and there is no intrinsic ordering to the categories. Hair color is also a categorical variable having a number of categories (blonde, brown, brunette, red, etc.) and again, there is no agreed way to order these from highest to lowest. A purely categorical variable is one that simply allows you to assign categories but you cannot clearly order the variables. If the variable has a clear ordering, then that variable would be an ordinal variable, as described below.