random

noun
ran·​dom | \ˈran-dəm \

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

Then, create random dot designs on each nail using a dotting tool and shade Tribal Textiles. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "How to DIY a Halloween Themed Manicure," 1 Oct. 2018 That code was replicated on as many as 17 state lottery systems as MUSL integrated the random-number software Tipton designed. Jason Clayworth, USA TODAY, "The untold story of how a gaming geek with a checkered past pulled off the biggest lottery scam in U.S. history," 26 Mar. 2018 Those customers, who were chosen at random, were asked about recent travel experiences. Kate Silver, chicagotribune.com, "Airline customer satisfaction is higher than you might think, a survey indicates," 7 May 2018 Those customers, who were chosen at random, were asked about recent travel experiences. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Airline customer satisfaction is higher than you might think, a survey indicates," 7 May 2018 Rich was shot and killed near his Washington home in July 2016 in what police ruled a random, botched robbery. Callum Borchers, Washington Post, "Why Fox News will probably not be penalized for airing a Seth Rich conspiracy theory," 14 Mar. 2018 The names of qualified students would be picked at random until a class is filled. Jeffrey Selingo, The Atlantic, "The Best Ways to Fix College Admissions Are Probably Illegal," 27 Apr. 2018 Each institution would establish its own criteria for admissions and then all the names of qualified students would be put into a hat and picked at random until the class is filled. Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post, "The higher education divide: The ‘haves’ keep getting richer. Other schools? Not so much.," 6 Apr. 2018 Male cougars wander at random, which is what the DNR is seeing with the Brookfield cougar, according to Walter. Karen Pilarski, USA TODAY, "Cougar caught on camera looking through window into Wisconsin home," 20 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

One is a random sample of about 28,000 voters, intended to mirror the electorate. Aaron Zitner, WSJ, "Poll Uses Novel Method to Learn Who Voted and Why," 6 Nov. 2018 Hey, one day people might take random DNA samples and upload them there. Eric Johnson, Recode, "23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki says ‘one of our biggest competitors’ is fake science on sites like Goop," 20 Oct. 2018 Under a bill first introduced last year, separate random drawings would have been held for the primary and for the general election. Jim Morrill, charlotteobserver, "How a small change in the law could have a big impact on NC's Supreme Court race," 6 July 2018 It’s normal day to day practices.’’ Researchers surveyed a random sample of more than 1,300 small banks around the country and measured the results against the racial and income demographics of the communities in which they are located. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "It can cost more for a checking account if you’re black or Latino, study says," 22 June 2018 This poll was conducted by telephone June 14-17, 2018 among a random sample of 1,100 adults nationwide. CBS News, "Mixed views of Trump-Kim summit, fewer uneasy about conflict now," 18 June 2018 The data offer a snapshot of what the state's debt looks like, based on a random sample of credit report information from Equifax in the fourth quarter of 2017, the report said. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Report: Alaska’s recession hasn’t taken a toll on household debt," 5 June 2018 So Kozin and his co-authors dispatched researchers to a random sample of 17 cycling studios in the Boston area. Julia Belluz, Vox, "How your cycling class could give you hearing loss," 31 May 2018 The poll was based on an online survey taken May 22-28 of a statewide random sample of 2,106 likely voters. John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, "Newsom, John Cox top new California governor’s poll: Villaraigosa in trouble," 31 May 2018

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

16 Nov 2018

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 \

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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