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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Your cryptography is thus only as strong as the random that supports it. Denis Mandich, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 18 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But the grid cells’ firing wasn’t entirely random either. Quanta Magazine, 14 Oct. 2021 These mast years can be random, happening as often as once every year or two, and depends on the severity of the previous winter. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 13 Oct. 2021 Officers provided few details of the shooting Tuesday morning but indicated the shots fired from outside the bus appeared to be random. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 12 Oct. 2021 But when a natural disaster strikes, death is even more random. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, 3 Oct. 2021 The attack does not appear to be random and does not pose any safety threats to the public, Waltham police said. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Sep. 2021 Other sites, such as Milwaukee's sewer scrutiny, are more random, requiring a wry Rowe explanation. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 20 Sep. 2021 Winners in each category will receive $1,000 and one person will be selected at random to win $1,000 just for voting. Usa Today Network Ventures Staff, USA TODAY, 4 Oct. 2021 Winners will be drawn at random and notified via email by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 19, 2021. San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb There’s one really random one called Mindicine that a postpartum therapist recommended. Collier Meyerson, WIRED, 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About random

Dictionary Entries Near random

Randolph

random

random-access

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for random

Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Random.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/random. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on random

Nglish: Translation of random for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of random for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!