- proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern: the random selection of numbers.
- Statistics. of or characterizing a process of selection in which each item of a set has an equal probability of being chosen.
- Building Trades.
- (of building materials) lacking uniformity of dimensions: random shingles.
- (of ashlar) laid without continuous courses.
- constructed or applied without regularity: random bond.
- unknown, unidentified, or suspiciously out of place: A couple of random guys showed up at the party.
- odd or unpredictable, often in an amusing way: my totally random life.
- something that is random, or a random state or condition: different statistical methods used to estimate randoms.
- a person or thing that is unknown, unidentified, or suspiciously out of place.
- a person or thing that is odd or unpredictable.
- Chiefly British. bank3(def 7b).
- Building Trades. without uniformity: random-sized slates.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for random on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for randomness
But science does not hold the answer to everything and even subscribes to the randomness of life on Earth.‘Gods of Suburbia’: Dina Goldstein’s Arresting Photo Series on Religion vs. Consumerism
November 8, 2014
Nothing serves as a metaphor for Florida randomness quite like a sinkhole.Boom Times for Florida’s Sinkhole Fixer-Uppers
August 13, 2013
How much does randomness and juvenilia and alcohol contribute to each tweet?Dear Kathryn Bigelow: Bret Easton Ellis Is Really Sorry
Bret Easton Ellis
December 17, 2012
Fragile things—a crystal champagne flute, for instance, or a house of cards—are hurt by stress, randomness, and uncertainty.
Early versions of this idea were developed in his previous books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan.
It is obvious that a language cannot go beyond a certain point in this randomness.Language
This was an impressive change that introduced a linear relation in a realm that was one of randomness or even chaos.
Reduction from practically infinite choices to a finite number of realizations is at best a matter of randomness and exposure.
Filled with 400 rods placed equidistantly, the lightning field is the interplay between precision and randomness.
- lacking any definite plan or prearranged order; haphazarda random selection
- having a value which cannot be determined but only described probabilisticallya random variable
- 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
- at random in a purposeless fashion; not following any prearranged order
Word Origin and History for randomness
"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.
- 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.
Idioms and Phrases with randomness
see at random.