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[ak-choo-er-ee] /ˈæk tʃuˌɛr i/
noun, plural actuaries.
Insurance. a person who computes premium rates, dividends, risks, etc., according to probabilities based on statistical records.
(formerly) a registrar or clerk.
Origin of actuary
1545-55; < Latin āctuārius shorthand writer, clerk, variant (with u of the action noun āctus act) of āctārius (āct(a) deeds, documents + -ārius -ary)
Related forms
[ak-choo-air-ee-uh l] /ˌæk tʃuˈɛər i əl/ (Show IPA),
actuarian, adjective
actuarially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for actuarial
  • Price is celebrated for creating the first actuarial model for life insurance.
  • At best, it is a macabre bet against the lives of the donors, without enough people in the pot to get to actuarial averages.
  • Insurance profits and losses on the business of insurance are based on actuarial science.
  • If the actuarial tables hold true, it will be his lot to see his legacy bitterly debated for many years.
  • But saving those who are living out the last years of their lives adds only a few months or years to the actuarial tables.
  • The rate is determined by region-specific actuarial tables and historical group deviation.
  • But ratings also became a stamp of actuarial approval that often let investors and regulators skimp on their own due diligence.
  • It doesn't really have an actuarial justification as far as can be seen, since it applies to funded and unfunded schemes alike.
  • Not only the discount rate, but also the actuarial cost method matters.
  • What's more, actuarial accounts of future climate risk are necessarily speculative and error-prone.
British Dictionary definitions for actuarial


noun (pl) -aries
a person qualified to calculate commercial risks and probabilities involving uncertain future events, esp in such contexts as life assurance
Derived Forms
actuarial (ˌæktʃʊˈɛərɪəl) adjective
Word Origin
C16: (meaning: registrar): from Latin āctuārius one who keeps accounts, from actum public business, and acta documents, deeds. See act, -ary
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 actuarial

1853, from actuary + -al (1). Related: Actuarially.



1550s, "registrar, clerk," from Latin actuarius "copyist, account-keeper," from actus "public business" (see act (n.)). Modern insurance office meaning first recorded 1849.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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actuarial in Culture
actuary [(ak-chooh-er-ee)]

A mathematician who uses statistics to calculate insurance premiums.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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