Definitions for arbitraryˈɑr bɪˌtrɛr i
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word arbitrary
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.]
Arbitrariness is the quality of being "determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle". Arbitrary decisions are not necessarily the same as random decisions. For example, during the 1973 oil crisis, Americans were allowed to purchase gasoline only on odd-numbered days if their license plate was odd, and on even-numbered days if their license plate was even. The system was well-defined and not random in its restrictions; however, since license plate numbers are completely unrelated to a person's fitness to purchase gasoline, it was still an arbitrary division of people. Similarly, schoolchildren are often organized by their surname in alphabetical order, a non-random yet still arbitrary method, at least in cases where surnames are irrelevant.
British National Corpus
Rank popularity for the word 'arbitrary' in Adjectives Frequency: #980
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
Freedom is the emancipation from the arbitrary rule of other men.
Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles.
This is the victory of law over power, the victory of law over the arbitrary.
Sequestration is a sudden and arbitrary cut in the defense budget that we can't predict.
Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken.
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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
- vilkårlegNorwegian Nynorsk
- tilfeldig, vilkårligNorwegian
- arbitrarny, dowolnyPolish
- arbitrário, arbitráriaPortuguese
- godtycklig, arbiträrSwedish
- keyfî, isteğe bağlıTurkish
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