law of averages

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

law of averages (uncountable)

  1. (statistics) The statistical tendency toward a fixed proportion in the results when an experiment is repeated a large number of times; the law of large numbers.
    • 1919, William David Winter, Marine Insurance: Its Principles and Practice, McGraw-Hill, Page 96,
      ... as they will not have sufficient distribution of risk to permit the law of averages to play its part and a severe total loss may ...
    • 1971, Russell Langley, Practical Statistics Simply Explained, Courier Dover Publications, ISBN 0486227294, Page 22
      Second Law - The Law of Averages. Whenever something (such as throwing a die) can have more than one result, if all the possible results have an equal chance ...
    • 1986, Geoffrey Grimmett & Dominic Welsh, Probability: An Introduction, OUP, ISBN 0198532644, Page 124,
      It is upon the ideas of 'repeated experimentation' and the law of averages that many of our notions of chance are founded.
  2. (informal) An imaginary or perceived "law" of probabilities which is wrongly used to predict results in the short-term.
    This coin has landed on heads ten times, so by the law of averages it must land on tails next time.

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