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 In one part of the study, online amateur listeners were asked to categorize random music samples as lullabies, dance songs, healing songs, or love songs. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian, "Scientists Show Humans May Share a ‘Musical Grammar’," 27 Nov. 2019 Tempe police said at the time the robbery was not believed to be a random act, and the house was purposefully targeted to steal marijuana from the home. Chelsea Hofmann, azcentral, "Suspect faces murder charge in 2014 Tempe home invasion," 27 Nov. 2019 The meningitis episodes occurred at random intervals after vaccination, most of them at two of the seven study sites, and there is no good explanation for why Mosquirix would lead to meningitis, the authors of the Lancet paper argue. Jop De Vrieze, Science | AAAS, "First malaria vaccine rolled out in Africa—despite limited efficacy and nagging safety concerns," 26 Nov. 2019 For the first hunt since 1916, 400 hunters were selected by random drawing in September. Frank Sargeant, al, "Get ready for start Alabama waterfowl hunting season," 20 Nov. 2019 The applications, selected through a random drawing, give each hunter permission to harvest two alligators. Karina Elwood, orlandosentinel.com, "Alligator hunting: For 2 Florida friends, a last chance to kill an elusive beast," 8 Nov. 2019 These equations can make predictions using data that appears random; weather-forecasting models use stochastic equations to generate reasonably accurate estimates. Gregory Zuckerman, Quartz, "The history of blunders and missteps that led to the quant trading revolution," 6 Nov. 2019 Police have said the shooting does not appear random. Pioneer Press, Twin Cities, "St. Paul police ID man shot Sunday night, who later died at a hospital," 29 Oct. 2019 Winner will be determined in a random drawing to be conducted on or about November 25, 2019 from among all eligible entries. chicagotribune.com, "Enter for your chance to win a trip for four to Universal Orlando Resort," 23 Oct. 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

16 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Random.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/randomly. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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