What is the best definition of 'explained variance' from a teaching perspective?

I quite like this one:

"Explained variance (also called explained variation) is used to measure the discrepancy between a model and actual data. In other words, it’s the part of the model’s total variance that is explained by factors that are actually present and isn’t due to error variance."

This may be too subjective for this site but I'd love to get some of your own insight on this point.

  • $\begingroup$ Don't you think there's something inherently wrong with a definition of a term (in this case, "explained" variance) that relies on the term itself?? When I ask myself what does this definition mean by "variance that is explained by factors," I come right back to the very question it's attempting to answer. $\endgroup$ – whuber Mar 19 at 13:59

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