Definition of random in English:



  • 1Made, done, or happening without method or conscious decision.

    ‘apparently random violence’
    • ‘Disappointingly, the survey reveals that random violence is increasing.’
    • ‘It shows that life for many prisoners is one of drug addiction, random violence and long periods spent locked up in their cells.’
    • ‘We don't want a list of random facts that just happen to be true of all the languages that are spoken now.’
    • ‘Some deaths may be attributed to domestic violence or random crime.’
    • ‘So basing any decision on what is most likely to be a random share price pattern is in reality like pouring money down the drain.’
    • ‘Here we studied the relationship between random happenings and the natural order of things.’
    • ‘In a changing world we have become used to random acts of senseless violence.’
    • ‘Sometimes I just get random thoughts in my head, and these can happen at the worst possible times.’
    • ‘The journey was relatively silent, aside from the random clearing of throats.’
    • ‘No conclusion can be drawn from her death other than that random acts of violence can happen anywhere.’
    • ‘This sampling error causes random fluctuations in allele frequencies called genetic drift.’
    • ‘His stories do not conclude, but simply stop dead with a random act of violence.’
    • ‘This is not just a random grab at topicality but a surprisingly cogent decision.’
    • ‘In science, observations are not any random facts that investigators happen to have registered.’
    • ‘When I'm forced to make a decision, I'll often use some random means to help me make up my mind.’
    • ‘I busied myself with some random fruit at the vegie markets while casually looking back at him.’
    • ‘They were weighted and thought out and they weren't random sporadic decisions.’
    • ‘He becomes the victim of random violence, and is beaten to death by street thugs.’
    • ‘We like to work on the songs so that they're not just random power chords.’
    • ‘What is now required is to go beyond looking at what happened as a random event.’
    haphazard, disorganized, undisciplined, erratic, unmethodical, uneven, careless, slapdash, slipshod, casual, offhand, remiss, cursory, lackadaisical, perfunctory, aimless, undirected, indiscriminate, trial-and-error
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    1. 1.1Statistics
      Governed by or involving equal chances for each item.
      ‘a random sample of 100 households’
      • ‘The four conditions occurred in a random order and with equal probability within each block of trials.’
      • ‘Results are based on statistically valid random samples of members and are rigorously audited.’
      • ‘So even if one starts with a random sample, the sample can end up being greatly biased by way of the limited response.’
      • ‘This has made the whole process of ensuring a random sample more difficult.’
      • ‘In a random sample of 1,150 Orkney people, Smith was not common enough to make it into the top ten list.’
    2. 1.2(of masonry) with stones of irregular size and shape.
      • ‘York stone flags, laid in random sizes, were chosen for the paving to give a sense of quality and scale.’
  • 2derogatory, informal Unfamiliar or unspecified.

    ‘are you going to take some random guy on Twitter's word?’
    ‘we stumbled on another live band playing at a random bar’
    • ‘You can't trust the people you're expecting to guard the schools any more than you can a random person off the street.’
    • ‘Perhaps their first response to a random phonecall shouldn't be a full-scale military intervention.’
    • ‘Of course the broadcaster has already had its "experts" (you know, the off the street random people they pay to claim things).’
    • ‘Well, here's a scene of him looking obsessively at a random blonde woman.’
    • ‘I wish there was like, a major chatroom, where you could take a number, wait for it to come up, and then just vent for 5-10 minutes to random people.’
    • ‘You enter a random door and then suddenly the screen becomes black with some text.’
    • ‘He's not even a video game guy, he's just some random finance guy who occasionally offers incredibly ill-informed opinions about video games.’
    • ‘Lucien is exactly the kind of guy to make out with random girls in bars.’
    • ‘Why would a group of grown men want to pay for some random bloke they don't know to be on their stag do just because he's small?’
    • ‘These files are a risk to people downloading any random file off a google search (just asking for trouble there).’
    1. 2.1Odd, unusual, or unexpected.
      ‘the class was hard but he was so random that it was always fun’
      • ‘The colouring book idea made me chuckle, it's so random!’
      • ‘This is so weird and random!’
      • ‘Our mini chicken burgers had carrots, peas and corn in - very random!’
      • ‘He was in the hotel room next to us which was really random.’
      • ‘The things they say and ask are so random.’
      • ‘I had a sudden craving for chicken… Wow that was random.’
      • ‘Actually, the entire segment was kind of random.’


  • An unknown, unspecified, or odd person.

    ‘I just sat down by myself and talked to some randoms’
    ‘some randoms in the crowd asked Ivan Ljubicic to take a photo for them’
    ‘unlike other fan mail from randoms, this was special’
    • ‘Then immediately I got multiple 'friend requests' from randoms.’
    • ‘The parents have forgotten that they have as much influence on their daughter's life as any other randoms.’
    • ‘I can foresee a lot of problems trying to play this with randoms online.’
    • ‘UK festivals involve downing as much cider as humanly possible, making friends with randoms, and living off Tesco pasties.’
    • ‘He's so well-off he can apparently afford to just hand off $50.00 to randoms on the street.’
    • ‘Click one to connect to other randoms with the same interest.’
    • ‘If no one knows you are an employee of the company then why would your internet rant carry any more weight then a random on the internet?’
    • ‘Here's how you can tell if a color works on you: wear it all day long and if you get compliments from randoms, then you're set.’
    • ‘He had a family, but here you are, sharing the main picture of him with a random from his past because she was once a celeb?’
    • ‘I don't want to rely on friends or randoms to enjoy a game.’


  • at random

    • Without method or conscious decision.

      ‘he opened the book at random’
      • ‘When paying for a taxi, don't look at your wallet as you take out a bill - just grab one at random and hand it over.’
      • ‘He put unbound sheets into a box and invited us to read them at random!’
      • ‘The head monkey grabs a stick and flails around at random, whacking his compatriots.’
      • ‘Manu and Nadine meet up, and go on a road trip, picking up men, and killing at random.’
      • ‘The chicken will begin its walk from a corner of the field chosen at random just moments before the event takes place.’
      • ‘The questions are generated on the computer system at random from a question bank.’
      • ‘By way of comparison, I went to the book shelf and picked out three Ian Fleming books at random.’
      • ‘The attack was unprovoked and it seems he was selected at random for assassination.’
      • ‘Chrissy picked the blue map book up from the floor by her feet and opened it at random.’
      • ‘Ernie opens a page at random, nods his head approvingly, and begins to read.’
      unsystematically, arbitrarily, randomly, without prearrangement, without method, unmethodically, haphazardly, without conscious choice, leaving things to chance
      out of a hat, by lot
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Middle English (in the sense ‘impetuous headlong rush’): from Old French randon great speed, from randir gallop, from a Germanic root shared by rand.