Definition of random in English:



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

    ‘a random sample of 100 households’
    • ‘Sometimes I just get random thoughts in my head, and these can happen at the worst possible times.’
    • ‘We don't want a list of random facts that just happen to be true of all the languages that are spoken now.’
    • ‘Here we studied the relationship between random happenings and the natural order of things.’
    • ‘This sampling error causes random fluctuations in allele frequencies called genetic drift.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We like to work on the songs so that they're not just random power chords.’
    • ‘In a changing world we have become used to random acts of senseless violence.’
    • ‘Some deaths may be attributed to domestic violence or random crime.’
    • ‘In science, observations are not any random facts that investigators happen to have registered.’
    • ‘They were weighted and thought out and they weren't random sporadic decisions.’
    • ‘I busied myself with some random fruit at the vegie markets while casually looking back at him.’
    • ‘No conclusion can be drawn from her death other than that random acts of violence can happen anywhere.’
    • ‘He becomes the victim of random violence, and is beaten to death by street thugs.’
    • ‘His stories do not conclude, but simply stop dead with a random act of violence.’
    • ‘Disappointingly, the survey reveals that random violence is increasing.’
    • ‘The journey was relatively silent, aside from the random clearing of throats.’
    • ‘What is now required is to go beyond looking at what happened as a random event.’
    • ‘This is not just a random grab at topicality but a surprisingly cogent decision.’
    • ‘When I'm forced to make a decision, I'll often use some random means to help me make up my mind.’
    • ‘It shows that life for many prisoners is one of drug addiction, random violence and long periods spent locked up in their cells.’
    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.
      • ‘In a random sample of 1,150 Orkney people, Smith was not common enough to make it into the top ten list.’
      • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Of course the broadcaster has already had its "experts" (you know, the off the street random people they pay to claim things).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Well, here's a scene of him looking obsessively at a random blonde woman.’
    • ‘You can't trust the people you're expecting to guard the schools any more than you can a random person off the street.’
    • ‘Lucien is exactly the kind of guy to make out with random girls in bars.’
    • ‘Perhaps their first response to a random phonecall shouldn't be a full-scale military intervention.’
    • ‘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’
      • ‘I had a sudden craving for chicken… Wow that was random.’
      • ‘He was in the hotel room next to us which was really random.’
      • ‘The colouring book idea made me chuckle, it's so random!’
      • ‘Our mini chicken burgers had carrots, peas and corn in - very random!’
      • ‘The things they say and ask are so random.’
      • ‘Actually, the entire segment was kind of random.’
      • ‘This is so weird and 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’
    • ‘He's so well-off he can apparently afford to just hand off $50.00 to randoms on the street.’
    • ‘I don't want to rely on friends or randoms to enjoy a game.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Then immediately I got multiple 'friend requests' from randoms.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘UK festivals involve downing as much cider as humanly possible, making friends with randoms, and living off Tesco pasties.’
    • ‘Click one to connect to other randoms with the same interest.’
    • ‘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 can foresee a lot of problems trying to play this with randoms online.’
    • ‘The parents have forgotten that they have as much influence on their daughter's life as any other randoms.’


  • at random

    • Without method or conscious decision.

      ‘he opened the book at random’
      • ‘He put unbound sheets into a box and invited us to read them at random!’
      • ‘The chicken will begin its walk from a corner of the field chosen at random just moments before the event takes place.’
      • ‘Chrissy picked the blue map book up from the floor by her feet and opened it at random.’
      • ‘The attack was unprovoked and it seems he was selected at random for assassination.’
      • ‘Ernie opens a page at random, nods his head approvingly, and begins to read.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Manu and Nadine meet up, and go on a road trip, picking up men, and killing at random.’
      • ‘The head monkey grabs a stick and flails around at random, whacking his compatriots.’
      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.