Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Dependent on chance, luck, or an uncertain outcome.
  • adjective Of or characterized by gambling.
  • adjective Music Using or consisting of sounds to be chosen by the performer or left to chance; indeterminate.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective (Law) Depending on some uncertain contingency.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • adjective dependent on chance

Etymologies

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

[Latin āleātōrius, from āleātor, gambler, from ālea, game of chance, die.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin āleātōrius, from āleātor ("dice-player"), from ālea ("a die").

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.

    John Lothrop Motley, A Memoir — Complete

  • 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

  • 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.

    John Lothrop Motley. a memoir — Volume 2

  • 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.

    PG Edition of Netherlands series — Complete

  • 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

  • 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.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • 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

  • 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

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