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 Those random-looking squiggles seem to symbolise the impenetrability of the language, the difficulty of the task ahead. The Economist, "The real reasons some languages are harder to learn," 8 May 2021 Meteorologists calculate climate normals based on 30 years of data to limit the random swings of daily weather. Seth Borenstein, chicagotribune.com, "America’s new normal: A degree hotter than two decades ago: Purdue researcher predicts it’s going to get worse," 7 May 2021 Evans-Harvill will miss being able to call her Mom with all her random questions. Briana Rice, The Enquirer, "'She was taken from us': Daughter, friends talk about Deborah Evans, College Hill shooting victim," 6 May 2021 People are going to vote no because of one random story from another state. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "Should Connecticut have early voting? Lawmakers debating constitutional amendment that voters could have final say on in November 2022," 6 May 2021 When the applied field was the same as at the collection site, the researchers found that the animals swam in random directions. Nikk Ogasa, Science | AAAS, "Sharks use Earth’s magnetic field to navigate the seas," 6 May 2021 As documented by previous studies, with just 1 parameter — gender — the ad tech targeted audience segment was worse than the random control. Dr. Augustine Fou, Forbes, "Why Is Ad Tech Targeting So Bad?," 6 May 2021 The first heat will be lined up by a random draw and the second heat will be set by inverting the finishing order from the first heat. Jenna Fryer, Star Tribune, "SRX format to reward driver skills, smarts on short tracks," 6 May 2021 Annie protests, when colleagues and random Portlanders condemn her for giving a platform to the family’s objectionable views. oregonlive, "Portland-filmed ‘Shrill’ brings Aidy Bryant and the cast back for an unsettled final season," 5 May 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 18 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

Comments on random

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