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.’
    • ‘Thus the rigorous intellectualism of serialism and the freedom of aleatoric processes are not paradoxical, but stem from the same mindset.’
    • ‘It is presumed that the very creation of life spawned from the song of its constant aleatoric mutations.’
    • ‘However, such aleatoric work is not necessarily the only way forward.’
    • ‘It therefore refers to what is aleatory, temporal and in course of development.’
    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.
      • ‘So aleatoric poetry could be described with historical exactitude as a rigmarole.’
      • ‘After several unsatisfactory attempts, this has now become an aleatory section.’
      • ‘In his later works he experimented with electronic music, while aleatory techniques form the basis of two major orchestral scores from 1967.’
      • ‘All of these elements are combined into seemingly aleatory compositions that, like fractals, operate on several scales at once.’
      • ‘They were intrigued and learned something new about Mozart and aleatory music.’


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