[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. aldus manutius,
  2. ale,
  3. ale conner,
  4. alea,
  5. aleardi,
  6. alebion,
  7. alec,
  8. alecithal,
  9. aleck,
  10. alecost

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for aleatoric


aleatoric (ˌeɪlɪəˈtɒrɪk)

/ (ˈeɪlɪətərɪ, -trɪ) /


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

Word Origin for aleatory

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 aleatoric



"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