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aleatory

[ey-lee-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, al-ee-]
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adjective
  1. Law. depending on a contingent event: an aleatory contract.
  2. of or relating to accidental causes; of luck or chance; unpredictable: an aleatory element.
  3. Music. employing the element of chance in the choice of tones, rests, durations, rhythms, dynamics, etc.
Also a·le·a·tor·ic [ey-lee-uh-tawr-ik, -tor-, al-ee-] /ˌeɪ li əˈtɔr ɪk, -ˈtɒr-, ˌæl i-/.

Origin of aleatory

1685–95; < Latin āleātōrius, equivalent to āleātōr- (stem of āleātor gambler (āle(a) game of chance + -ātor -ator) + -ius adj. suffix; see -tory1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aleatory

Historical Examples

  • At best the actor's is an aleatory profession and, as in all games of chance, the losses score highest.

    My Actor-Husband

    Anonymous

  • Some are aleatory, but the light-minded or interested alone call them so.

  • This was the aleatory element in life, the element of risk and loss, good or bad fortune.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner

  • The aleatory element has always been the connecting link between the struggle for existence and religion.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner

  • It was only by religious rites that the aleatory element in the struggle for existence could be controlled.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner


British Dictionary definitions for aleatory

aleatory

aleatoric (ˌeɪlɪəˈtɒrɪk)

adjective
  1. dependent on chance
  2. (esp of a musical composition) involving elements chosen at random by the performer

Word Origin

C17: from Latin āleātōrius, from āleātor gambler, from ālea game of chance, dice, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for aleatory

adj.

"of uncertain outcome," literally "depending on the throw of a die," 1690s, from Latin aleatorius "pertaining to a gamester," from aleator "a dice player," from alea "a game with dice; chance, hazard, risk; a die, the dice;" perhaps literally "a joint-bone, a pivot-bone," and related to axis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper