Synonyms and Antonyms of arbitrary
1 having or showing a tendency to force one's will on others without any regard to fairness or necessity an arbitrary piano teacher who makes all her students do the same exercises over and over again Synonyms dictatorial, high-handed, imperious, peremptory, willful (or wilful) Related Words arrogant, commanding, demanding, dominant, domineering, haughty, imperative, lordly, masterful, overbearing, presumptuous; authoritarian, autocratic (also autocratical), despotic, totalitarian, tyrannical (also tyrannic), tyrannous; capricious, changeable, erratic, inconsistent, mercurial, whimsical; biased, inequitable, partisan, prejudiced, unequal, unfair, unjust, unrealistic, unreasonable; unconscionable, unethical, unprincipled, unscrupulous Near Antonyms balanced, disinterested, dispassionate, equal, equitable, evenhanded, fair, impartial, just, nonpartisan, objective; rational, reasonable, understanding; unbiased, unprejudiced; ethical, honorable, irreproachable, law-abiding, moral, principled, unimpeachable
2 lacking a definite plan, purpose, or pattern the order of the names of the 10 semifinalists is entirely arbitrary Synonyms aimless, random, catch-as-catch-can, desultory, erratic, haphazard, helter-skelter, hit-or-miss, scattered, slapdash, strayRelated Words accidental, casual, chance, chancy, contingent, fluky (also flukey), fortuitous, inadvertent, incidental, lucky, unconsidered, unintended, unintentional, unplanned, unpremeditated; scattershot, shotgun; irregular, odd, sporadic, spot; directionless, objectless, purposeless; indiscriminate, unsystematic; undirected; disorderly, disorganized; undiscriminating, unselectiveNear Antonyms established, fixed, regular, set, stable, steady; constant, continuous, even; arranged, managed, orchestrated, ordered, planned; aware, conscious, deliberate, purposeful, thoughtful, willful (or wilful)Antonyms methodical (also methodic), nonrandom, orderly, organized, regular, systematic, systematized
3 exercising power or authority without interference by others a nation with no tradition of democracy, only a long history of arbitrary rulers Synonyms absolute, autocratic (also autocratical), czarist (also tsarist or tzarist), despotic, dictatorial, monocratic, tyrannical (also tyrannic), tyrannousRelated Words authoritarian, jackbooted, oppressive, totalitarian; antidemocratic, antirepublican; high-handed, magisterial; domineering, imperious, masterful; all-powerful, almighty, omnipotent; autonomous, self-governing, self-ruling, sovereign (also sovran); unconditional, unlimitedNear Antonyms circumscribed, restrained, restricted; constitutional, lawful; democratic, republicanAntonyms limited
arbitrary was our Word of the Day on 12/21/2009. Hear the podcast!
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