random variable

noun

: a variable that is itself a function of the result of a statistical experiment in which each outcome has a definite probability of occurrence

called also variate

Examples of random variable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In essence, a random variable that is outside the norm will tend to converge to the norm. Dr. Paul Wendee, Forbes, 4 May 2023 The number also appears in bell curves, which are found in statistics about random variables that add up. Kat Friedrich, Popular Mechanics, 16 Mar. 2023 Mathematicians say this stability may be explained by Poisson’s random variable, a principle of probability theory that holds that the number of independent, uncommon events in a large population will remain fairly stagnant absent major societal changes. Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2022 Statistical significance is a random variable too. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 20 Jan. 2011 This puzzling curve seemed to be the complex cousin of the familiar bell curve, or Gaussian distribution, which represents the natural variation of independent random variables like the heights of students in a classroom or their test scores. Quanta Magazine, 15 Oct. 2014 There are too many random variables at play -- including the crazy crowd noise -- to make this a consistently formful race. Katia Porzecanski, Bloomberg.com, 4 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'random variable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1914, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of random variable was in 1914

Dictionary Entries Near random variable

Cite this Entry

“Random variable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/random%20variable. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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