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 Each kentuki has two users: the keeper, who owns the toy, and the dweller, a volunteer assigned at random who controls it remotely, via software interface, from elsewhere in the world. J. Robert Lennon, New York Times, "The Cute Little Devices Are Watching You," 5 May 2020 The village of Blackhall Colliery in County Durham became a global spectacle when large sums of money began appearing at random near the main street in 2014. Fox News, "English town's mystery solved as police explain the source of cash bundles appearing on the streets," 15 Jan. 2020 Tilleson said the city and police expects to conduct up to four random directed patrol missions in East Tosa in the coming year. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tosa police and city officials design program to target drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians," 22 Nov. 2019 Oregon State is also launching a four-week effort to collect samples at random from nearly 1,000 residents in Corvallis. oregonlive, "Coronavirus testing could expand in Oregon right now. Instead, tests sit idle amid restrictive guidelines.," 18 Apr. 2020 This is typically slow because the electron has to hop from site to site in a kind of random, drift-like fashion. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "OLED-power link jumps from useless 50Mb/s to useful 1Gb/s," 13 Mar. 2020 What her doctor said next surprised her: Amanda had likely entered perimenopause, the five to 10 years leading up to menopause when hormones start to go haywire, spiking and dipping seemingly at random. Meryl Davids Landau, Woman's Day, "Mental Health Issues Are the Menopausal Side Affect We're Not Talking About," 27 Jan. 2020 Even worse, the buggers appear at random from a draw bag as your exploration of the ship makes more of a ruckus. Dan Thurot, Ars Technica, "Nemesis brings alien impregnation horror to your tabletop—and it works," 18 Jan. 2020 The conceit was this: You’d be paired with a conversational partner at random for a video chat via webcam. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "Chatroulette Was Shorthand for Chaos Online. Then Came the 2010s," 24 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Briscoe comes into Saturday’s Pennzoil 150 starting 12th in the grid after the random draw. Ethan Sears, The Indianapolis Star, "Chase Briscoe would rather win on the oval, but still happy to race IMS," 4 July 2020 In a more random 60-game schedule, their chances remain strong even without Price, assuming the season proceeds. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price opts out of 2020 Major League Baseball season," 4 July 2020 Williams, with his big smile and big heart, was addicted to telling stories, sending random texts — often updating people about his children’s achievements in real time — and performing practical jokes. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "D.C. police officer who died of covid-19 spent life, career mentoring children," 3 July 2020 By some crazy, random twist of fate, seasoned soccer fans in Birmingham, England, have started pulling for Birmingham Legion FC in Alabama. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Birmingham Legion FC lands heated rival Memphis for first game," 2 July 2020 Then the Secretary of State's Office has three business days to determine the random sample results, issue a receipt to the committee sponsoring the measure and notify the governor. Ryan Randazzo, The Arizona Republic, "Backers of Arizona's recreational marijuana measure file 420K signatures for November ballot," 2 July 2020 Although 13 positive tests may seem like a small number in comparison to Lincoln County’s 324 total cases, this random sampling provides a new type of data — prevalence of COVID-19 in a community. oregonlive, "3.4% of people in Newport have coronavirus, OSU study finds," 1 July 2020 Foster parent Jennifer Jones said the exemptions strike her as random and full of loopholes. Mary Jo Pitzl, azcentral, "DCS says kids can have virtual visits with mom and dad to protect against virus spread," 1 July 2020 Yes, when the ink is dry on these words, the Fisher-Paulsons will not be in the outer, outer, outer, outer Excelsior but rather some random town in Central California. Kevin Fisher-paulson, SFChronicle.com, "Hitting the road can help you appreciate the real thing at home," 30 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb There’s one really random one called Mindicine that a postpartum therapist recommended. Collier Meyerson, WIRED, "Anxiously Seeking the Perfect Anti-Anxiety App," 16 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for random

Time Traveler

The first known use of random was in 1561

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Statistics for random

Last Updated

14 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Random.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/random. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for random

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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