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


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.


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  • The kind of word you get when you click here, or on the 'random word' link that's now at the bottom of every page.

    July 11, 2007

  • Thanks, John! I noticed you also expanded our dictionary/reference selection (two Google links!). What fun!

    July 11, 2007

  • Hey, that's cool! It's also reassuring to see how many words on the site don't have comments yet, when I start to think we might be running out of stuff to talk about. ;-)

    July 11, 2007

  • Yeah, that'll happen. :-)

    July 11, 2007

  • Oh, how cool!!! I'm a big fan of the 'random word' function. :) Most of the words I've found are only listed by one or two people.

    July 11, 2007

  • Oh noes, the random word function done BROKED!!

    October 8, 2007

  • I unbroke it. Has anyone else noticed that every time I add a new feature, I break three existing ones?

    October 8, 2007

  • No prob, at least you're quick to amend. ;-) Also, I saw jennarenn added , and I thought "that's pretty cool." Now I don't want to add it, but it's worthy of a favorite. But that generates a 500 error. :-(

    October 9, 2007

  • John, I have noticed that every time I fix anything I break three other things. Welcome to software development.

    October 9, 2007

  • Oh no, did I delete a good list? I could only find two words, so I decided to chuck it. I'm such a minimalist!


    October 9, 2007

  • Who would have though this word would have generated so much conversation?

    November 11, 2007

  • Oh noes, you clicked! What horrors hath thee unleashed?

    June 12, 2008

  • Definitely my favourite rhyme for fandom.

    June 12, 2008

  • wow so I'm here! I feel so alone, though...

    June 13, 2008

  • New Wordies might be confused by this conversation, so the official Wordie historian will now explain that

    in the past, the random feature URI was, i.e. the same as this page.

    September 9, 2008

  • Way, way too much, "like wow! That was random..." going around these days. Though, thankfully, it seems to be a dying trend.

    October 1, 2008

  • Let's keep a good thought.

    October 1, 2008

  • Pfft!

    Noone says "like, wow."


    October 1, 2008

  • Summed up in two words: cow poo.

    July 18, 2009

  • one of the most misused words in my experience, right up there with peruse: "OMG, why would you say that? You are so random, Sarah!"

    (No, actually I said that on purpose.)

    "Have you heard of this wordie site? Yeah, it's this great site that I randomly found when I googled 'wordie' the other day!"

    (Randomly, really?)

    September 17, 2009

  • I have a lot of statistics, but I still find myself using random colloquially to mean a variety of things. Sometimes I refer to things as stochastic just to mix it up.

    September 17, 2009

  • Learn English with Vexamples, and learn about technology at the same time!

    Anyway: has anyone yet some across a page with whitespace in the word string while using the Random Word feature, or does it produce only single (and hyphenated) words? I'm beginning to suspect it's restricted in the same manner as Recently Viewed (though given the sheer size of the database now, it'll be hard to tell without confirmation from John & co.); and if it is, then it's clearly inferior to classic Wordie's.

    November 26, 2009

  • Looking at the other examples, I am struck by how little randomness is in the selection of the 'random, horrific attack' ones.

    November 26, 2009

  • I wonder how many words are in the 'random' pool. is it a million. Can I use 5 words to make a really good passphrase?


    November 6, 2017