Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having no specific pattern, purpose, or objective: synonym: chance.
  • adjective Mathematics & Statistics Of or relating to a type of circumstance or event that is described by a probability distribution.
  • adjective Of or 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.
  • idiom (at random) Without a governing design, method, or purpose; unsystematically.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In mining, the direction of a rake-vein.
  • noun A rushing, as of a torrent; an impetuous course; impetuosity; violence; force: especially with great, as in the phrase a great random, with great speed or force.
  • noun A rush; spurt; gush.
  • noun A continuous flow of words; a harangue.
  • noun An indeterminate course or proceeding; hence, lack of direction, rule, or method; haphazard; chance: used only in the phrase at random—that is, in a haphazard, aimless, and purely fortuitous manner.
  • noun The distance traversed by a missile; range; reach.
  • Proceeding, taken, done, or existing at random; aimless; fortuitous; haphazard; casual.
  • noun Something done or produced without definite method, or with irregular or haphazard effect.
  • noun In dyeing, clouded yarn. See random yarn, under I.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Force; violence.
  • noun A roving motion; course without definite direction; want of direction, rule, or method; hazard; chance; -- commonly used in the phrase at random, that is, without a settled point of direction; at hazard.
  • noun Distance to which a missile is cast; range; reach.
  • noun (Mining) The direction of a rake-vein.
  • adjective Going at random or by chance; done or made at hazard, or without settled direction, aim, or purpose; hazarded without previous calculation; left to chance; haphazard.
  • adjective (Statistics) of, pertaining to, or resulting from a process of selection from a starting set of items, in which the probability of selecting any one object in the starting set is equal to the probability of selecting any other.
  • adjective (Construction) of unequal size or shape; made from components of unequal size or shape.
  • adjective in a manner so that all possible results have an equal probability of occurrence; for processes, each possible result is counted separately although the same type of result may occur more than once .
  • adjective (Masonry) courses of stone of unequal thickness.
  • adjective a shot not directed or aimed toward any particular object, or a shot with the muzzle of the gun much elevated.
  • adjective (Masonry) stonework consisting of stones of unequal sizes fitted together, but not in courses nor always with flat beds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Having unpredictable outcomes and, in the ideal case, all outcomes equally probable; resulting from such selection; lacking statistical correlation.
  • adjective mathematics Of or relating to probability distribution.
  • adjective computing Pseudorandom in contrast to truly random; mimicking the result of random selection.
  • adjective Representative and undistinguished; typical and average; selected for no particular reason.
  • adjective Apropos of nothing; lacking context; unexpected; having apparent lack of plan, cause, or reason.
  • adjective colloquial Characterized by or often saying random things; habitually using non sequiturs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective lacking any definite plan or order or purpose; governed by or depending on chance

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From at random, by chance, at great speed, from Middle English randon, speed, violence, from Old French, from randir, to run, of Germanic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English raundon, from Old French randon, from randir ("to gallop") ( > French randonnée ("long walk, hike")), from Frankish *rant, *rand ("a running"), from Proto-Germanic *randiō (“a running”), from Proto-Germanic *rinnanan (“to run”), from Proto-Indo-European *ren- (“to rise; to sink”). See run.

Examples

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