English [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
Middle English , from raundon Old French , from randon ( randir “ to gallop ”) (whence French ( randonnée “ long walk, hike ”)), from * Frankish rant, *rand ( “ a running ”), from Proto-Germanic ( *randijō “ a running ”), from Proto-Germanic ( *rinnaną “ to run ”), from Proto-Indo-European ( *ren- “ to rise; to sink ”). See . run
Pronunciation [ edit ]
random ( plural ) randoms
A roving motion; course without definite direction; lack of rule or method; chance.
Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
Counsels, when they fly / At
random, sometimes hit most happily. Sir
Walter Scott (1771-1832)
O, many a shaft, at
random sent, / Finds mark the archer little meant!
( obsolete ) Speed, full speed; impetuosity, force. [14
1485, Syr Thomas Malory, , Le Morte Darthur Bk.I, Ch.x:
they were messagers vnto kyng Ban & Bors sent from kynge Arthur / therfor said the viij knyghtes ye shalle dye or be prysoners / for we ben knyghtes of kyng Claudas And therwith two of them dressid theire sperys / and Vlfyus and Brastias dressid theire speres and ranne to gyder with grete
Edward Hall (1497-1547)
For courageously the two kings newly fought with great
random and force.
( obsolete ) The full range of a bullet or other projectile; hence, the angle at which a weapon is tilted to allow the greatest range. [16
1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, page 144:
Fortie yards will they shoot levell, or very neare the marke, and 120 is their best at
(Can we find and add a quotation of Sir K. Digby to this entry?)
( figuratively , colloquial ) An undefined, unknown or unimportant person; a person of no consequence. [from 20
The party was boring. It was full of randoms.
( mining ) The direction of a rake-vein.
(Can we find and add a quotation of Raymond to this entry?)
Synonyms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
obsolete: speed, full speed; impetuosity, force
Adjective [ edit ]
random ( comparative , more random superlative ) most random
unpredictable outcomes and, in the ideal case, all outcomes equally probable; resulting from such selection; lacking statistical correlation.
The flip of a fair coin is purely random.
The newspaper conducted a random sample of five hundred American teenagers.
The results of the field survey look random by several different measures.
July 18 2012, Scott Tobias, AV Club The Dark Knight Rises 
Where the Joker preys on our fears of
random, irrational acts of terror, Bane has an all-consuming, dictatorial agenda that’s more stable and permanent, a New World Order that’s been planned out with the precision of a military coup.
( mathematics ) Of or relating to probability distribution.
A toss of loaded dice is still random, though biased.
( computing ) Pseudorandom; mimicking the result of random selection.
The rand function generates a random number from a seed.
( somewhat colloquial ) Representative and undistinguished; typical and average; selected for no particular reason.
A random American off the street couldn't tell the difference.
( somewhat colloquial ) Apropos of nothing; lacking context; unexpected; having apparent lack of plan, cause , or reason.
That was a completely random comment.
The teacher's bartending story was interesting, but random.
The narrative takes a random course.
( colloquial ) Characterized by or often saying random things; habitually using non sequiturs.
You're so random!
Synonyms [ edit ]
Derived terms [ edit ]
terms derived from
Translations [ edit ]
all outcomes being unpredictable
( عشوائي ʕašwāʾī) Armenian:
( պատահական patahakan) Catalan:
náhodný (cs) m Danish:
willekeurig , (nl) toevallig , (nl) lukraak Esperanto:
, aleatora arbitra , (eo) hazarda Estonian:
juhuslik, suvaline Finnish:
satunnainen (fi) French:
aléatoire (fr) German:
zufällig (de) Greek:
τυχαίος (el) ( m tychaíos) Hungarian:
véletlenszerű , (hu) véletlen (hu) Irish:
, fánach teagmhasach Italian:
casuale , (it) fortuito , (it) fortuito (it) m Japanese:
( formal ) 任意の ( (ja) ), にんいの, nin'i no ( informal ) 適当な ( (ja) ) てきとうな, tekitō na
mathematics: of or relating to probability distribution
apropos of nothing
nesouvisející m Danish:
, overflødig ligegyldig Finnish:
satunnainen , (fi) , asiaankuulumaton irrallinen French:
sans queue ni tête , (fr) incohérent (fr) Japanese:
適当な ( (ja) ), てきとうな, tekitō na ( 出任せの ), でまかせの, demakase no ( 勝手気ままな ), かってきままな, katte-kimama na ( 不可解な ) ふかかいな, fukakai na
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked
See also [ edit ]
Anagrams [ edit ]