## random variable

(

*Or*variate.) A variable characterized by random behavior in assuming its different possible values.Mathematically, it is described by its probability distribution, which specifies the possible values of a random variable together with the probability associated (in an appropriate sense) with each value. A random variable is said to be continuous if its possible values extend over a continuum, discrete if its possible values are separated by finite intervals.

*See*probability theory, statistical independence.