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[sawr-tish-uh n] /sɔrˈtɪʃ ən/
the casting or drawing of lots.
1590-1600; < Latin sortītiōn- (stem of sortītiō), equivalent to sortīt(us) (past participle of sortīrī to draw lots, derivative of sors lot, portion; see sort, -ite2) + -iōn- -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for sortition


the act of casting lots
Word Origin
C16: from Latin sortitio, from sortiri to cast lots
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for sortition

election by lot, a method of choosing public officials in some ancient Greek city-states. It was used especially in the Athenian democracy, from which most information about the practice is derived. With few exceptions, all magistrates were chosen by lot, beginning with the archons in 487-486 BC; likewise the Boule (council) of 500 and the juries of the law courts were chosen by lot. The practice of sortition obviated electoral races and provided for the regular turnover of officeholders. The operations of government were thus not in the hands of experts, but, through the system of sortition, the Athenian democracy provided at least some practical political education for its citizens

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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