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 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 Freeway shootings put Phoenix on edge For two weeks in August and September of 2015, motorists in Phoenix were on edge amid a shooting spree that left 11 vehicles shot, seemingly at random. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "These 20 Arizona stories from 2010 to 2020 captured our attention as they shocked, divided and united us," 27 Dec. 2019 The studies would have to be carried out online, with participants in each drawn at random from a common pool. Wired, "200 Researchers, 5 Hypotheses, No Consistent Answers," 6 Dec. 2019 The Halal Guys: The fast-casual Middle Eastern restaurant is holding a contest and will choose three winners at random who will get a free sandwich on their Halal Guys loyalty account. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "National Sandwich Day: Where to score free subs and meal deals Sunday," 2 Nov. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective One study found that more than two-thirds of cannabis stores called at random in Colorado recommended cannabis products for easing morning sickness. Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, STAT, "States need to wake up to public health risks from cannabis," 21 Jan. 2020 And even now, Epstein's enterprise continues to try to prevent or limit DPNR authorities from conducting random inspections on the islands, the lawsuit says. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Jeffrey Epstein's disregard for environmental protections showed his disrespect for the law, Virgin Islands says," 16 Jan. 2020 On one occasion, Demaro was stabbed by someone random in his leg but managed to escape. Christopher Daniel, Billboard, "Demaro Urges LGBTQ Jamaicans 'Don't Give Up' as He Premieres Vibrant 'Mi Readi' Video: Exclusive," 1 Jan. 2020 In it, 770 low-income students in their last two years of high school were sorted at random into treatment and control groups between 2014 and 2017. Josh Verges, Twin Cities, "College Bound St. Paul: More money, more college? It’s not that simple, studies show," 22 Dec. 2019 The music icon and Billy Eichner went for a stroll through New York City and quizzed people at random on popular holiday song lyrics and more. Darlene Aderoju, PEOPLE.com, "Mariah Carey Celebrates as 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' Tops Billboard Hot 100: 'We Did It'," 16 Dec. 2019 Los Angeles Police Department officials originally placed Rojas, who's assigned to downtown's Central Division, on leave with pay after the footage was seen during a random inspection. CBS News, "L.A. cop arrested for allegedly fondling dead woman's breasts," 13 Dec. 2019 Officials found the incriminating footage during a random inspection of Rojas' body camera footage. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY, "'Abhorrent': Los Angeles police officer arrested, charged with fondling dead woman's breasts," 13 Dec. 2019 The person, who didn't want to be identified, said that supervisors discovered the act during a random inspection of video recordings. Fox News, "California police officer being investigated for allegedly fondling dead woman," 4 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for random

Time Traveler

The first known use of random was in 1561

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Statistics for random

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Random.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/random. Accessed 26 Feb. 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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