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

She was subjected to malicious personal and Islamophobic attacks from various entities, including conservative media, the far right and random citizens. Azmia Magane, Teen Vogue, "Congresswoman-Elect Ilhan Omar Shares How She Deals With Islamophobia and Advice for Young People," 9 Nov. 2018 Presumably these issues will be part of the same update that will fix the random extra-notch behavior and the camera’s occasional inability to save a photo. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Google offers Pixel 3XL users free Play Store credit, promises bug fixes 'in the coming weeks'," 6 Nov. 2018 Police have called the crime an apparently random attack and have not found a motive, the report said. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Newly engaged runner stabbed to death in DC to be buried in wedding dress," 25 Sep. 2018 The filmmaker, 33, opens up about the attack in a lengthy interview for GQ discussing the extent of his injuries following a random attack in Saigon, Vietnam in September 2017. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Kong: Skull Island Director Says He Was 'Almost Killed' in Brutal Vietnamese Club Attack," 10 July 2018 Half-blind, with a shaggy hair and beard, Asahara was the key figure in the stunningly random and lethal attack targeting Tokyo commuters. Washington Post, "Cult leader executed for Japan sarin attacks still a mystery," 6 July 2018 On Wednesday, Cardindals tight end Jermaine Gresham helped a random stranger out at the airport. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "Jermaine Gresham Tells Stranger to Pay It Forward After Act of Kindness," 30 May 2018 Some random stranger just moves in and then leaves without a trace a few months later for basically no reason? Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "7 Plot Holes From 13 Reasons Why Season 2 That Will Leave You SHOOK," 22 May 2018 Those lessons, including one Davis described where the women were sent off to strike up conversations with random strangers, helped her prepare to stand up to the Saints and the NFL. Chelsea Brasted, NOLA.com, "The NFL should listen up: Its cheerleaders' concerns are real," 26 Apr. 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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Comments on random

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