[ ahr-bi-trer-ee ]
/ ˈɑr bɪˌtrɛr i /
subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one's discretion: an arbitrary decision.
decided by a judge or arbiter rather than by a law or statute.
having unlimited power; uncontrolled or unrestricted by law; despotic; tyrannical: an arbitrary government.
based on whim or personal preference, without reason or pattern; random: This is an unusual encyclopedia, arranged by topics in a more or less arbitrary order.
Mathematics. undetermined; not assigned a specific value: an arbitrary constant.
noun, plural ar·bi·trar·ies.
arbitraries, Printing. (in Britain) peculiar (def. 9).
THIS PSAT VOCABULARY QUIZ IS PERFECT PRACTICE FOR THE REAL TEST
In our third teacher-created PSAT practice test there are new and unique vocabulary terms you may have never heard of! Can you guess what they mean?
Question 1 of 10
Origin of arbitrary
OTHER WORDS FROM arbitrary
ar·bi·trar·i·ly [ahr-bi-trair-uh-lee] /ˌɑr bɪˈtrɛər ə li/ adverbar·bi·trar·i·ness, nounnon·ar·bi·trar·i·ness, nounnon·ar·bi·trar·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for arbitrary
/ (ˈɑːbɪtrərɪ) /
founded on or subject to personal whims, prejudices, etc; capricious
having only relative application or relevance; not absolute
(of a government, ruler, etc) despotic or dictatorial
maths not representing any specific valuean arbitrary constant
law (esp of a penalty or punishment) not laid down by statute; within the court's discretion
Derived forms of arbitraryarbitrarily, adverbarbitrariness, noun
Word Origin for arbitrary
C15: from Latin arbitrārius arranged through arbitration, uncertain
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