Definitions for "Latent variable"
a variable that cannot be measured directly, but is hypothesized to underlie the observed variables
a variable that cannot be observed directly and must be inferred from measured variables
A variable of interest that cannot be directly measured (for example intelligence) but has to be estimated through procedures such as factor analysis applied to a number of manifest variables deemed to be 'caused' by the latent variable (e.g. reading speed, exam results, etc…). Usually form the basis of Structural Equation Models.
the construct that is being measured or represented by the scale; also called an attribute