[adjective, adverb hap-haz-erd; noun hap-haz-erd]


characterized by lack of order or planning, by irregularity, or by randomness; determined by or dependent on chance; aimless.



mere chance; accident.

Origin of haphazard

First recorded in 1565–75; hap1 + hazard
Related formshap·haz·ard·ness, noun

Synonyms for haphazard

Antonyms for haphazard

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for haphazard

Contemporary Examples of haphazard

Historical Examples of haphazard

  • Passages taken at haphazard will suffice to establish my contention.

  • Take any sonnet at haphazard, and you will hear the rage of his desire.

  • Once outside he slowly resumed his walk in haphazard fashion.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • Why should not a man start off at haphazard, and get out when the mood takes him?

    The Great Hunger

    Johan Bojer

  • In a word, system will have to be substituted for confusion, method for haphazard.

    England and Germany

    Emile Joseph Dillon

British Dictionary definitions for haphazard


adverb, adjective

at random


careless; slipshod


rare chance
Derived Formshaphazardly, adverbhaphazardness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for haphazard

1570s, from hap "chance, luck" (see hap) + hazard "risk, danger, peril." Related: Haphazardly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper