Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Dependent on chance, luck, or an uncertain outcome: an aleatory contract between an oil prospector and a landowner.
  • adj. Of or characterized by gambling: aleatory contests.
  • adj. Music Using or consisting of sounds to be chosen by the performer or left to chance; indeterminate: An object placed inside the piano added an aleatory element to the piece.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Depending on the throw of a die; random, arising by chance

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Depending on some uncertain contingency.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Literally, depending upon the throw of a die; hence, depending on a contingent event.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. dependent on chance

Etymologies

Latin āleātōrius, from āleātor, gambler, from ālea, game of chance, die.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin āleātōrius, from āleātor ("dice-player"), from ālea ("a die"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word aleatory, whether used in its original and limited sense, or in its derived extension as a technical term of the civil law, was appropriate and convenient; one especially likely to be remembered by any person who had read Mr. Sumner's speech, -- and everybody had read it; the secretary himself doubtless got the suggestion of determining the question "by lot" from it.

    Complete Project Gutenberg Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Works

  • Merely "aleatory" decision -- by actual use of dice -- he rejects as illicit, though towards the close of the book one of its most delectable episodes ends in his excusing Mr. Justice Bridoye for settling law cases in that way.

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 From the Beginning to 1800

  • The title says it all - "aleatory," meaning dependent on chance or luck.

    The Facts: News

  • Without a dancer of Ms. Farrell's own daring and power at the center of her reconstruction of the aleatory "Pithoprakta," subtitled "Action by Probabilities," the chances of it staying with a viewer are slim.

    A Company in Progress

  • I'd think these deals would be barred as aleatory contracts against public policy.

    What could go wrong? (Jack Bog's Blog)

  • Taking care to cut out the original sound (which your participants must not hear at first or know from prior experience) show them the sequence several times, accompanied by these various musical pieces played over the images in an aleatory [random] manner.

    Audio Vision, Part 1

  • The Institute of Medicine released a provocative and somewhat controversial report on calcium and vitamin D intake; the American Cancer Society announced results of an enormous study reaffirming the link between body mass index and mortality; there was at least aleatory passage of a historic food safety bill in Congress; and a long awaited update to federal policy governing child nutrition was passed and awaits the President's signature.

    David Katz, M.D.: How The Environment Affects Your Health

  • Nevertheless I was never propelled into an aleatory addiction to sub-genres like Sword & Sorcery or indiscriminate fantasies about magical this or that - Like any other genre or subgenre there's a great abundance that makes it hard to discern when a new "trilogy" or "chronicle" comes from as genuine a place as Tolkien's or derives from genuine fervor - religious or otherwise - like C.S. Lewis 'did.

    Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro Chat Hobbit With Fans « FirstShowing.net

  • "Any system which purports to account for evolution must invoke a mechanism not mutational and aleatory."

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • And when there are problems (losing data, unreproducibility) they blame aleatory incidents rather than poor software architecture, even though such problems are utterly predictable (even if their detailed manifestation is aleatory) from the software architecture process used to develop the software.fsfsfsfsfsfsfsfs(Quote)

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Clive Crook (at The Atlantic) on “ClimateGate”

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