Definition of actuary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈak(t)SHəˌwerē/

noun (plural actuaries)

A person who compiles and analyzes statistics and uses them to calculate insurance risks and premiums.
Example sentences
  • In determining the actuarial surplus in a pension fund, actuaries make key assumptions.
  • Each year a report is produced by the trustees of your pension scheme and every three years there is a valuation by actuaries, who analyse financial risk.
  • The assured is then paid the surrender value of the policy, which is calculated by an actuary on the basis of the amounts paid to date.


Mid 16th century (originally denoting a clerk or registrar of a court): from Latin actuarius 'bookkeeper', from actus (see act). The current sense dates from the mid 19th century.

  • An actuary started out as the name for a clerk or registrar of a court; the source is Latin actuarius ‘bookkeeper’, from actus ‘event’ ( see actor). The current use in insurance contexts dates from the mid 19th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ac·tu·ar·y

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