Definition of aleatory in US English:



  • 1Depending on the throw of a dice or on chance; random.

    • ‘Fortunately, some cosmologists have lately begun to consider models in which the ‘initial conditions’ are aleatoric and hence far from simple.’
    • ‘However, such aleatoric work is not necessarily the only way forward.’
    • ‘It therefore refers to what is aleatory, temporal and in course of development.’
    • ‘It is presumed that the very creation of life spawned from the song of its constant aleatoric mutations.’
    • ‘Thus the rigorous intellectualism of serialism and the freedom of aleatoric processes are not paradoxical, but stem from the same mindset.’
    fortuitous, chance, occurring by accident, occurring by chance, adventitious, fluky, coincidental, casual, serendipitous, random
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    1. 1.1 Relating to or denoting music or other forms of art involving elements of random choice (sometimes using statistical or computer techniques) during their composition, production, or performance.
      • ‘After several unsatisfactory attempts, this has now become an aleatory section.’
      • ‘All of these elements are combined into seemingly aleatory compositions that, like fractals, operate on several scales at once.’
      • ‘In his later works he experimented with electronic music, while aleatory techniques form the basis of two major orchestral scores from 1967.’
      • ‘They were intrigued and learned something new about Mozart and aleatory music.’
      • ‘So aleatoric poetry could be described with historical exactitude as a rigmarole.’


Late 17th century: from Latin aleatorius, from aleator ‘dice player’, from alea ‘die’, + -y.