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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 actuary
  • More often, there is subtle pressure on the actuary to come up with projections that make the pension fund look good.
  • Instead, they receive nonbinding instructions from an actuary on how much to contribute.
  • She is a compensation consultant and he is an actuary.
  • Genetic testing information should not be used for actuary calculations.
  • According to the actuary, health inflation will actually increase under this law not decrease.
  • The uproar this provoked only grew when a state-appointed actuary concluded that the firm's justification for the hike was bogus.
  • But it is also true, as every actuary knows, that the best way to live for a long time is to pick your parents carefully.
British Dictionary definitions for actuary


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 actuary

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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actuary 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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