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 In 2016, Ireland convened a group of 99 citizens chosen at random, plus a national supreme court judge as a chairperson. Bernd Reiter, The Conversation, "Voting could be the problem with democracy," 22 Oct. 2019 Chosen seemingly at random, recipients were divided into colored teams of either green, orange, red or purple. Morena Duwe, Billboard, "We Lost the Dirtybird Campout Spelling Bee and Other Festival Field Activity Reports," 8 Oct. 2019 At an event where the outcome, mass arrests, seemed only to confirm the protesters’ complaints, riot police dragged demonstrators from the crowd seemingly at random and arrested news photographers and reporters. Andrew E. Kramer, BostonGlobe.com, "Russian Police Arrest Hundreds at Protest, Including Navalny, After Reporter’s Release," 12 June 2019 During two days of interviewing at random some 50 admirers of Kandinsky, JTA did not encounter a single person who favored returning the painting to the family after being informed of the dispute’s details. Cnaan Liphshiz, sun-sentinel.com, "‘Public interest’ keeps looted artwork on display, not with family," 24 July 2019 Color each of the vertices white or black at random. Quanta Magazine, "Random Surfaces Hide an Intricate Order," 2 July 2019 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 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The seemingly random breaks help stretch the show over the course of roughly eight months (end of September to mid-late May) — a typical time frame for most big network shows to run. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Hold on, Why Is 'SNL' Not Airing a New Season 45 Episode Tonight?," 9 Nov. 2019 The bones aren’t as evenly spaced, producing slightly random and less attractive cuts with plenty of shag, and the meat is more likely to fall off the bone like a roast due to the high fat content. Chuck Blount, ExpressNews.com, "Lamb ribs are fatty heaven and easy to cook," 4 Nov. 2019 MrBeast, who's real name is Jimmy Donaldson, is known for his random and often elaborate acts of generosity and stunts, such as building a mansion out of cardboard and going through the same drive-thru a thousand times. David Williams, CNN, "YouTube star MrBeast wants to plant 20 million trees and he's raised more than $8 million since Friday," 30 Oct. 2019 The incident is under investigation, and it has not been determined if the home invasion was a random or a targeted act, McNulty said. BostonGlobe.com, "Police arrest 2 suspects in Hyde Park home invasion - The Boston Globe," 22 Oct. 2019 A few of Yuko’s victims include the guards at the camps, but these characters are faceless, their deaths random; her wrath is mostly directed at innocent people. Nancy Matsumoto, The Atlantic, "Two Ways of Looking at The Terror: Infamy’s Finale," 16 Oct. 2019 Powerful cases in point are studies demonstrating that countries differ substantially in terms of mean happiness and the additional finding that this pattern is anything but random. Scientific American, "Latitude Adjustment: Distance from the Equator Shapes Our Thinking," 15 Oct. 2019 And coming back to job interviews, if everyone lied, then nobody could be trusted, and hiring decisions would become even more arbitrary and random. G. James Lemoine, The Conversation, "What’s so wrong about lying in a job interview," 7 Oct. 2019 In September 2016, 34-year-old Laura Levis passed away from a sudden and seemingly random asthma attack. Christina Oehler, Health.com, "What Are Asthma Peak Week Allergies, And Why Are They So Dangerous?," 25 Sep. 2019 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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Statistics for random

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

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

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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