based on or subject to individual discretion or preference or sometimes impulse or caprice
"an arbitrary decision"; "the arbitrary rule of a dictator"; "an arbitrary penalty"; "of arbitrary size and shape"; "an arbitrary choice"; "arbitrary division of the group into halves"
Based on individual discretion or judgment; not based on any objective distinction, perhaps even made at random.
Determined by impulse rather than reason; heavy-handed.
"The Russian trials were Stalin's purges, with which he attempted to consolidate his power. Like most people in the West, I believed these show trials to be the arbitrary acts of a cruel dictator." (Max Born, Letters to Einstein)
Any and all possible.
The equation is true for an arbitrary value of x.
Determined by independent arbiter.
To secure food safety, there should first be a national standard to arbitrarily state what is wholesome and what is not; second, the final buyer should know exactly what he is purchasing. (The World's Work ...: a history of our time)
Origin: From arbitrarie, arbitrarius, from arbiter
depending on will or discretion; not governed by any fixed rules; as, an arbitrary decision; an arbitrary punishment
exercised according to one's own will or caprice, and therefore conveying a notion of a tendency to abuse the possession of power
despotic; absolute in power; bound by no law; harsh and unforbearing; tyrannical; as, an arbitrary prince or government
Origin: [L. arbitrarius, fr. arbiter: cf. F. arbitraire. See Arbiter.]
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
är′bi-trar-i, adj. not bound by rules: despotic, absolute, arising from accident rather than from rule, varying, uncertain.—adv. Ar′bitrarily.—n. Ar′bitrariness. [L. arbitrarius, arbiter.]
British National Corpus
Rank popularity for the word 'arbitrary' in Adjectives Frequency: #980
The numerical value of arbitrary in Chaldean Numerology is: 7
The numerical value of arbitrary in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
Freedom is the emancipation from the arbitrary rule of other men.
Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken.
Changes in school types were decided by local bureaucrats in a rather arbitrary manner, (It) has definitely been rushed.
More weapons will mean more fuel to the fire, more attacks on civilians, arbitrary killings, rape, burnings and pillage.
We reject sanctions as arbitrary, as immoral and because no one has the right to impose sanctions on anyone else in the world.
Images & Illustrations of arbitrary
Translations for arbitrary
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- деспотичен, случаен, произволен, своеволен, тираниченBulgarian
- arbitrariCatalan, Valencian
- libovolný, náladovýCzech
- arbitrær, vilkårligDanish
- willkürlich, arbiträr, beliebigGerman
- αυθαίρετος, δεσποτικός, αυταρχικός, παρορμητικός, αυθόρμητοςGreek
- arbitra, hazardaEsperanto
- mielivaltainen, omavaltainen, umpimähkäinenFinnish
- arbitraire, quelconqueFrench
- treallach, aondeonach, ansmachtúil, ar togradh, dírialtaIrish
- שרירותי, שרירותיתHebrew
- sembarang, mana saja, siapa saja, apa sajaIndonesian
- a caso, arbitrario, arbitrariaItalian
- 恣意, 任意, 不特定多数Japanese
- დესპოტური, თვითნებური, დაუსაბუთებელი, ჭირვეულიGeorgian
- willekeurig, arbitrairDutch
- vilkårlegNorwegian Nynorsk
- tilfeldig, vilkårligNorwegian
- arbitrarny, dowolnyPolish
- arbitrário, arbitráriaPortuguese
- godtycklig, arbiträrSwedish
- keyfî, isteğe bağlıTurkish
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