random

[ ran-duhm ]
/ ˈræn dəm /
|||

adjective

noun

adverb

Building Trades. without uniformity: random-sized slates.

Nearby words

  1. rando,
  2. randolph,
  3. randolph, asa philip,
  4. randolph, edmund,
  5. randolph, john,
  6. random access,
  7. random access memory,
  8. random coil,
  9. random error,
  10. random line

Idioms

    at random, without definite aim, purpose, method, or adherence to a prior arrangement; in a haphazard way: Contestants were chosen at random from the studio audience.

Origin of random

1275–1325; Middle English raundon, random < Old French randon, derivative of randir to gallop < Germanic

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

Examples from the Web for random


British Dictionary definitions for random

random

/ (ˈrændəm) /

adjective

lacking any definite plan or prearranged order; haphazarda random selection
statistics
  1. having a value which cannot be determined but only described probabilisticallya random variable
  2. chosen without regard to any characteristics of the individual members of the population so that each has an equal chance of being selectedrandom sampling
informal (of a person) unknownsome random guy waiting for a bus

noun

at random in a purposeless fashion; not following any prearranged order
Derived Formsrandomly, adverbrandomness, noun

Word Origin for random

C14: from Old French randon, from randir to gallop, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German rinnan to run

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 random

random

adj.

"having no definite aim or purpose," 1650s, from at random (1560s), "at great speed" (thus, "carelessly, haphazardly"), alteration of Middle English noun randon "impetuosity, speed" (c.1300), from Old French randon "rush, disorder, force, impetuosity," from randir "to run fast," from Frankish *rant "a running" or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *randa (cf. Old High German rennen "to run," Old English rinnan "to flow, to run;" see run (v.)).

In 1980s U.S. college student slang it began to acquire a sense of "inferior, undesirable." (A 1980 William Safire column describes it as a college slang noun meaning "person who does not belong on our dormitory floor.") Random access in reference to computer memory is recorded from 1953. Related: Randomly; randomness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for random

random

[ răndəm ]

Relating to a type of circumstance or event that is described by a probability distribution.
Relating to an event in which all outcomes are equally likely, as in the testing of a blood sample for the presence of a substance.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with random

random

see at random.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.