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90s Slang You Should Know


[ey-lee-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, al-ee-] /ˈeɪ li əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˈæl i-/
Law. depending on a contingent event:
an aleatory contract.
of or relating to accidental causes; of luck or chance; unpredictable:
an aleatory element.
Music. employing the element of chance in the choice of tones, rests, durations, rhythms, dynamics, etc.
Also, aleatoric
[ey-lee-uh-tawr-ik, -tor-, al-ee-] /ˌeɪ li əˈtɔr ɪk, -ˈtɒr-, ˌæl i-/ (Show IPA)
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for aleatory
Historical Examples
  • 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
  • There is a great change in the mores of the entire modern society about the aleatory element.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • The folkways, deeply concerned in the aleatory interest, work out the applications.

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

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • There is behind them an assumption as to the character and logic of the superior powers who rule the aleatory interest.

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

    My Actor-Husband Anonymous
  • Religion, in its connection with marriage, takes its function from the aleatory interest.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • The aleatory element still remains, and it is still irrational, but the attitude of men towards it is changed.

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

British Dictionary definitions for aleatory


/ˈeɪlɪətərɪ; -trɪ/
dependent on chance
(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
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Word Origin and History for aleatory

"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
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