Definition of arbitrariness in English:


Pronunciation /ɑːbɪˈtrɛrɪnəs//ˈɑːbətrərɪnəs/


mass noun
  • 1The quality of being based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

    ‘disparate peoples were forced together by the arbitrariness of a colonial map-maker's pen’
    • ‘Moreover, the arbitrariness of colonial power served to twist changing interests and strategies in unpredictable ways.’
    • ‘The collection examines the arbitrariness of color lines drawn both between and within races.’
    • ‘He argues that arbitrariness of corrupt transactions adversely impacts on capital inflows, providing a reason that corruption is more harmful than taxes.’
    • ‘The coupling of experience to words is arbitrary, just as there's some arbitrariness to the coupling of one word with another.’
    • ‘The plays were a return to the theme of the arbitrariness yet inevitability of death.’
    • ‘These two failures suggest a degree of arbitrariness in the Foster range tests.’
    • ‘He reveals the arbitrariness of race in his fragmented self.’
    • ‘The mock trial scene of his divorce further helps to unveil this arbitrariness of language.’
    • ‘At first glance, this passage seems designed merely to call our attention to the arbitrariness of geographical associations.’
    • ‘Philosophy and history persistently argue the inherent arbitrariness of what we call reality.’
  • 2A lack of restraint in the use of authority; autocracy.

    ‘the law protects the people against the arbitrariness of those in office’
    • ‘Procedural safeguards are necessary to avoid any risk of arbitrariness resulting from a decision to place a prisoner in solitary confinement.’
    • ‘Corruption weakens the rule of law and increases the fragility of property rights and the arbitrariness of law enforcement.’
    • ‘In the government's view, this was especially so when a discretionary life sentence by its very nature avoided the risk of arbitrariness of mandatory life sentences.’
    • ‘The court, created in 2003, was widely criticized for what some called the arbitrariness of its trials and sentences.’
    • ‘Everyone, governed and governor, is subject to the rule of law, free from arbitrariness and whims.’
    • ‘At the same time, he reveals their mismanagement, the absence of democracy, the arbitrariness of the regime.’
    • ‘By subjecting him and all other officials to a constitution, it sought to replace the rule of arbitrariness by the rule of law.’
    • ‘What also has people concerned is the scope of the offense and the arbitrariness with which it might be perceived.’
    • ‘Its government desperately needs such a system of accountability to stem the arbitrariness, corruption, and cronyism.’
    • ‘The arbitrariness is magnified by the fact that the victim of the crime is not motivating the pursuit.’