random

noun
ran·​dom | \ ˈran-dəm How to pronounce random (audio) \

Definition of random

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a haphazard course
at random
: without definite aim, direction, rule, or method subjects chosen at random

random

adjective

Definition of random (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : lacking a definite plan, purpose, or pattern
b : made, done, or chosen at random read random passages from the book
2a : relating to, having, or being elements or events with definite probability of occurrence random processes
b : being or relating to a set or to an element of a set each of whose elements has equal probability of occurrence a random sample also : characterized by procedures designed to obtain such sets or elements random sampling

random

adverb

Definition of random (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a random manner

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Other Words from random

Adjective

randomly adverb
randomness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for random

Adjective

random, haphazard, casual mean determined by accident rather than design. random stresses lack of definite aim, fixed goal, or regular procedure. a random selection of books haphazard applies to what is done without regard for regularity or fitness or ultimate consequence. a haphazard collection of rocks casual suggests working or acting without deliberation, intention, or purpose. a casual collector

Examples of random in a Sentence

Adjective

a random sequence of letters A random sample of doctors from around the country were selected for the study. We tasted the wines in random order and then rated each. a random collection of buttons She collects random photographs that she finds in antique shops. Pick a random word on the page. The computer program generates a list of random numbers.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Beto O’Rourke, seemingly at random, got a question about whether the United States ought to honor a responsibility to protect people threatened by genocide overseas. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "At the Democratic Debate, Elizabeth Warren’s Reformism Versus Trump’s Moral Crisis," 27 June 2019 The toy chain is limiting the offer to about 200,000 rewards program members selected at random from entries received before a Jun. 16 deadline. Lauren Zumbach, chicagotribune.com, "Build-A-Bear is bringing back its “Pay Your Age Day” promotion - with a plan to control the crowds," 19 June 2019 At the start of the game, a hat that may be either blue or red is chosen at random from a large number of hats and placed on each contestant’s head. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: A Hat Trick + 1 of Hat Puzzles," 23 Mar. 2016 Perhaps three judges would be chosen at random from a circuit court and the president would select one. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "A Better Way to Fix the Supreme Court," 4 June 2019 Normally, axions just hit at random, so the swing is always moving but not actually swinging. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Pulsars could convert dark matter into something we could see," 20 Dec. 2018 Instead, the game has playlists, which serve up modes seemingly at random. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Red Dead Online’s battle royale mode is slow, tense, and nothing like Fortnite," 29 Nov. 2018 Making a passphrase random is only half of the solution, though. Henry Williams, WSJ, "Forget Passwords. It’s Time for Passphrases.," 18 Sep. 2018 File this under random: Many people with a herniated disc don’t have any symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic. Korin Miller, SELF, "You Could Have a Herniated Disc Without Even Realizing It," 11 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

He was released on the conditions of having no contact with the victims or other defendants, undergoing pre-trial supervision, and submitting to random testing, according to a bail review document. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Two Carroll County 19-year-olds indicted for alleged robbery, burglary in Woodbine," 10 July 2019 Some of the casting seemed random, but there were several magical pairings. Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, "“It’s the End of My Presidency”: Movie Stars Channel Mueller," 1 July 2019 The day consisted of an hour of skill work in the morning and afternoon along with each team — picked at random — playing a total of five games during the six-hour day. Stephen Means, cleveland.com, "What to know from the OHSBCA Showcase: Ohio State basketball news," 29 June 2019 The company selected respondents at random from the nearly three million people who take surveys on its platform each day. Ben Casselman, New York Times, "Trump’s Case for China Tariffs Fails to Persuade Americans," 28 June 2019 The study’s participants fell into three groups at random. Anya Samek, The Conversation, "Americans don’t agree on whether the poor should chip in or do work in exchange for aid," 14 June 2019 The assignments of each qualifying candidate to a particular night will be made by random drawing this Friday. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The first Democratic debate qualification rules — and controversies — explained," 12 June 2019 Los Angeles police are trying to determine whether Nelson also drove up and killed another man in that city less than an hour earlier in another apparently random shooting. Fox News, "Utah man arrested in shooting of off-duty California deputy at Jack in the Box," 11 June 2019 Los Angeles police are trying to determine whether Nelson also drove up and killed another man in that city less than an hour earlier in another apparently random shooting. Washington Post, "The Latest: Man arrested in shooting of off-duty LA deputy," 11 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'random.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of random

Noun

1561, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1619, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

1618, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for random

Noun

Middle English, succession, surge, from Anglo-French randun, from Old French randir to run, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German rinnan to run — more at run

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Statistics for random

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for random

The first known use of random was in 1561

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More Definitions for random

random

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of random

: chosen, done, etc., without a particular plan or pattern

random

adjective
ran·​dom | \ ˈran-dəm How to pronounce random (audio) \

Kids Definition of random

: lacking a clear plan, purpose, or pattern I read a random selection of poems.

Other Words from random

randomly adverb
randomness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on random

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with random

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for random

Spanish Central: Translation of random

Nglish: Translation of random for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of random for Arabic Speakers

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