[ stuh-kas-tik ]
/ stəˈkæs tɪk /

adjective Statistics.

of or relating to a process involving a randomly determined sequence of observations each of which is considered as a sample of one element from a probability distribution.

Origin of stochastic

1655–65; < Greek stochastikós, equivalent to stochas- (variant stem of stocházesthai to aim at) + -tikos -tic
Related formssto·chas·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for stochastic


/ (stɒˈkæstɪk) /


  1. (of a random variable) having a probability distribution, usually with finite variance
  2. (of a process) involving a random variable the successive values of which are not independent
  3. (of a matrix) square with non-negative elements that add to unity in each row
rare involving conjecture
Derived Formsstochastically, adverb

Word Origin for stochastic

C17: from Greek stokhastikos capable of guessing, from stokhazesthai to aim at, conjecture, from stokhos a target
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 stochastic



1660s, "pertaining to conjecture," from Greek stokhastikos "able to guess, conjecturing," from stokhazesthai "guess," from stokhos "a guess, aim, target, mark," literally "pointed stick set up for archers to shoot at" (see sting). The sense of "randomly determined" is first recorded 1934, from German stochastik.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for stochastic


[ stō-kăstĭk ]

Involving or containing a random variable or variables.
Involving chance or probability.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.