haphazard

adjective
hap·​haz·​ard | \ (ˌ)hap-ˈha-zərd \

Definition of haphazard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: marked by lack of plan, order, or direction a haphazard assemblage of furniture not … a collection of haphazard schemes, but rather the orderly component parts of a connected and logical whole— F. D. Roosevelt

haphazard

noun

Definition of haphazard (Entry 2 of 2)

: chance sense 1 this little remnant preserved by the haphazard of chance— Edith Hamilton take our principles at haphazard— John Locke

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Other Words from haphazard

Adjective

haphazard adverb
haphazardly adverb
haphazardness noun
haphazardry \ (ˌ)hap-​ˈha-​zər-​drē \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for haphazard

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

Did You Know?

Noun

The "hap" in "haphazard" comes from an English word that means "happening," as well as "chance or fortune," and that derives from the Old Norse word happ, meaning "good luck." Perhaps it’s no accident that "hazard," as well, has its own connotations of luck: while it now refers commonly to something that presents danger, at one time it referred to a dice game similar to craps. (The name ultimately derives from the Arabic al-zahr, or "the die.") "Haphazard" first entered English as a noun (again meaning "chance") in the 16th century, and soon afterward was being used as an adjective to describe things with no apparent logic or order.

Examples of haphazard in a Sentence

Adjective

We were given a haphazard tour of the city. considering the haphazard way you measured the ingredients, it's a wonder the cookies came out this good

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The process, like much in the West Wing, was haphazard. Josh Dawsey, The Seattle Times, "‘Everyone signed one’: Trump aggressive in use of nondisclosure agreements, even in government," 14 Aug. 2018 Both totals were way up from an average of about 280 people in the five years prior, though officials note that the data collection can be haphazard. Elyssa Cherney, chicagotribune.com, "As more fireworks find their way into public's hands, catastrophic injuries on the rise," 2 July 2018 Yet on drones, the federal response has been largely haphazard and behind the curve. W.j. Hennigan, Time, "Experts Say Drones Pose a National Security Threat — and We Aren’t Ready," 31 May 2018 The spelling was haphazard and the prose almost unreadable, with no paragraph breaks. Laurie Hertzel, Detroit Free Press, "Books: Inside the mind of an endearing schizophrenic," 24 Feb. 2018 Still, because there are no universally accepted best practices, schools take dramatically different – and sometimes haphazard – approaches to preparing students for potential danger. John Woodrow Cox, The Seattle Times, "Numerous school lockdowns are traumatizing the nation’s children," 26 Dec. 2018 Securities lawyers were aghast at the haphazard way Musk announced his plans. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Report: Feds investigating whether Musk’s buyout tweet broke the law," 8 Aug. 2018 Yet Facebook and other content companies remove content or limit its reach every day, and these decisions sometimes seem haphazard. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Bots vs. Trolls: How AI Could Clean Up Social Media," 9 Aug. 2018 To humans, the pictures look like haphazard arrangements of lines and blobs that lack any obvious immediate structure. James Vincent, The Verge, "What algorithmic art can teach us about artificial intelligence," 6 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Aleksandr Golovin curled home a wonderful free-kick after haphazard defending from Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny to level six minutes later. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Europa League Recap: Arsenal rout CSKA, Atletico, RB Leipzig, Lazio take victories," 5 Apr. 2018 The system now is a haphazard, on-the-ground monitoring network used to track greenhouse gases. John Fialka, Scientific American, "Meet the Satellites that Can Pinpoint Methane and Carbon Dioxide Leaks," 9 Mar. 2018 Winfrey, who was first elected as city clerk in 2005, has come under fire multiple times over the years for running a haphazard and error-prone election process. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit City Clerk announces new re-evaluation plan for all 3,000 election poll workers," 27 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'haphazard.' 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 haphazard

Adjective

1576, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1569, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for haphazard

Noun and Adjective

hap entry 1 + hazard

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Statistics for haphazard

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for haphazard

The first known use of haphazard was in 1569

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More Definitions for haphazard

haphazard

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of haphazard

: having no plan, order, or direction

haphazard

adjective
hap·​haz·​ard | \ hap-ˈha-zərd \

Kids Definition of haphazard

: marked by lack of plan, order, or direction We took a haphazard route.

Other Words from haphazard

haphazardly adverb

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