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[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 pertaining 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)
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for aleatory
  • The first type of uncertainty is aleatory uncertainty.
  • The condition made is aleatory, but that does not affect its validity or enforceability.
  • They have recently been termed aleatory and epistemic uncertainty.
  • The aleatory and epistemic uncertainty can be combined into a composite variability.
  • aleatory causation involves physical processes that may be probabilistic.
  • aleatory uncertainty cannot be reduced by collection of additional information.
  • aleatory risks versus short-run hedonism in explanation of gang action.
  • Both aleatory and epistemic uncertainties should be addressed.
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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