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

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 The show of force came in response to videos circulated on TikTok showing Palestinians slapping religious Jews at random. BostonGlobe.com, "Jerusalem tension triggers Gaza-Israel fire exchange," 24 Apr. 2021 Winners will be drawn at random and notified via email by 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, 2021. San Francisco Chronicle, "Enter for a chance to win a stream code for the film 'Without Remorse'," 23 Apr. 2021 Investigators do not believe the shooting to be a random act. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, "Police investigating after man shot to death at a Lawrence home late Wednesday," 8 Apr. 2021 Shaquille O’Neal made a man’s day with a random act of kindness at an Atlanta jewelry store Tuesday. oregonlive, "Shaquille O’Neal pays off engagement ring for random man in jewelry store," 7 Apr. 2021 There is no indication the victim or Turner knew each other, but Pittsburgh police are still investigating whether this was a random act. Caitlin Mcfall, Fox News, "Pittsburgh McDonald's turns into crime scene after 12-year-old boy stabbed in line with family," 21 Mar. 2021 At a news conference after the shooting Monday, Pine Bluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant said officials believed the incident was targeted, as opposed to a random act. Joseph Flaherty, Arkansas Online, "Charge now murder in Pine Bluff school shooting," 6 Mar. 2021 Many times, noninnovators believe innovation to be a random act of creativity and redundancies grounded in trial and error. Mohan Nair, Forbes, "Capturing The Five I's Of Hyper Innovation," 3 Mar. 2021 Police do not believe the killing was a random act. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Police: Woman found dead in St. Paul home was assaulted day earlier in Brooklyn Park," 23 Feb. 2021 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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Cite this Entry

“Random.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/random. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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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Comments on random

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