Definitions for arbitraryˈɑr bɪˌtrɛr i

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word arbitrary

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

ar•bi•trar•yˈɑr bɪˌtrɛr i(adj.)

  1. subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one's discretion:

    an arbitrary decision.

  2. decided by a judge or arbiter rather than by a law or statute.

  3. having unlimited power; uncontrolled or unrestricted by law; despotic:

    an arbitrary government.

    Category: Government

  4. capricious; unreasonable; unsupported:

    an arbitrary demand for payment.

  5. Math. undetermined; not assigned a specific value:

    an arbitrary constant.

    Category: Math

Origin of arbitrary:

1400–50; late ME < L arbitrārius uncertain (i.e., depending on an arbiter's decision). See arbiter , -ary

ar′bi•trar`i•ness(n.)

Princeton's WordNet

  1. arbitrary(adj)

    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"

Wiktionary

  1. arbitrary(Adjective)

    Based on individual discretion or judgment; not based on any objective distinction, perhaps even made at random.

  2. arbitrary(Adjective)

    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)

  3. arbitrary(Adjective)

    Any and all possible.

    The equation is true for an arbitrary value of x.

  4. arbitrary(Adjective)

    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)

  5. Origin: From arbitrarie, arbitrarius, from arbiter

Webster Dictionary

  1. Arbitrary(adj)

    depending on will or discretion; not governed by any fixed rules; as, an arbitrary decision; an arbitrary punishment

  2. Arbitrary(adj)

    exercised according to one's own will or caprice, and therefore conveying a notion of a tendency to abuse the possession of power

  3. Arbitrary(adj)

    despotic; absolute in power; bound by no law; harsh and unforbearing; tyrannical; as, an arbitrary prince or government

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'arbitrary' in Adjectives Frequency: #980


Translations for arbitrary

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary

arbitrary(adjective)

not decided by rules or laws but by a person's own opinion

He made a rather arbitrary decision to close the local cinema without consulting other people.

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