- 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.
Origin of aleatory
Examples from the Web for aleatory
At best the actor's is an aleatory profession and, as in all games of chance, the losses score highest.My Actor-Husband
Some are aleatory, but the light-minded or interested alone call them so.Decadence and Other Essays on the Culture of Ideas
Remy de Gourmont
This was the aleatory element in life, the element of risk and loss, good or bad fortune.
The aleatory element has always been the connecting link between the struggle for existence and religion.
It was only by religious rites that the aleatory element in the struggle for existence could be controlled.
- dependent on chance
- (esp of a musical composition) involving elements chosen at random by the performer
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.