What does random mean?

Definitions for random
ˈræn dəmran·dom

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word random.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. randomadjective

    lacking any definite plan or order or purpose; governed by or depending on chance

    "a random choice"; "bombs fell at random"; "random movements"


  1. Randomadjective

    (Statistics) Of, pertaining to, or resulting from a process of selection from a starting set of items, in which the probability of selecting any one object in the starting set is equal to the probability of selecting any other.

  2. Randomadjective

    (Construction) of unequal size or shape; made from components of unequal size or shape.


  1. randomnoun

    Speed, full speed; impetuosity, force.

  2. randomnoun

    The full range of a bullet or other projectile; hence, the angle at which a weapon is tilted to allow the greatest range.

  3. randomnoun

    An undefined, unknown or unimportant person; a person of no consequence.

    The party was boring. It was full of randoms.

  4. randomadjective

    Having unpredictable outcomes and, in the ideal case, all outcomes equally probable; resulting from such selection; lacking statistical correlation.

  5. randomadjective

    Of or relating to probability distribution.

    A toss of loaded dice is still random, though biased.

  6. randomadjective

    Pseudorandom in contrast to truly random; mimicking the result of random selection.

    The function generates a random number from a seed.

  7. randomadjective

    Representative and undistinguished; typical and average; selected for no particular reason.

    A random American off the street couldn't tell the difference.

  8. randomadjective

    Apropos of nothing; lacking context; unexpected; having apparent lack of plan, cause or reason.

  9. randomadjective

    Characterized by or often saying random things; habitually using non sequiturs.

    You're so random!

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Randomadjective

    Done by chance; roving without direction.

    Virtue borrow’d but the arms of chance,
    And struck a random blow! ’twas fortune’s work,
    And fortune take the praise. Dryden.

  2. Randomnoun

    Want of direction; want of rule or method; chance; hazard; roving motion.

    Etymology: randon, Fr.

    Thy words at random argue thy inexperience. John Milton.

    He lies at random carelesly diffus’d,
    With languish’d head unpropt,
    As one past hope abandon’d. John Milton.

    Fond love his darts at random throws,
    And nothing springs from what he sows. Edmund Waller.

    The striker must be dense, and in its best velocity: the angle, which the missive is to mount by, if we will have it go to its furthest random, must be the half of a right one; and the figure of the missive must be such, as may give scope to the air to bear it. Digby.

    In the days of old the birds lived at random in a lawless state of anarchy; but in time they moved for the setting up of a king. Roger L'Estrange, Fables.

    Who could govern the dependance of one event upon another, if that event happened at random, and was not cast into a certain relation to some foregoing purpose to direct. South.

    ’Tis one thing when a person of true merit is drawn as like as we can; and another, when we make a fine thing at random, and persuade the next vain creature that ’tis his own likeness. Alexander Pope.


  1. random

    In common usage, randomness is the apparent or actual lack of pattern or predictability in events. A random sequence of events, symbols or steps often has no order and does not follow an intelligible pattern or combination. Individual random events are, by definition, unpredictable, but if the probability distribution is known, the frequency of different outcomes over repeated events (or "trials") is predictable. For example, when throwing two dice, the outcome of any particular roll is unpredictable, but a sum of 7 will tend to occur twice as often as 4. In this view, randomness is not haphazardness; it is a measure of uncertainty of an outcome. Randomness applies to concepts of chance, probability, and information entropy. The fields of mathematics, probability, and statistics use formal definitions of randomness. In statistics, a random variable is an assignment of a numerical value to each possible outcome of an event space. This association facilitates the identification and the calculation of probabilities of the events. Random variables can appear in random sequences. A random process is a sequence of random variables whose outcomes do not follow a deterministic pattern, but follow an evolution described by probability distributions. These and other constructs are extremely useful in probability theory and the various applications of randomness. Randomness is most often used in statistics to signify well-defined statistical properties. Monte Carlo methods, which rely on random input (such as from random number generators or pseudorandom number generators), are important techniques in science, particularly in the field of computational science. By analogy, quasi-Monte Carlo methods use quasi-random number generators. Random selection, when narrowly associated with a simple random sample, is a method of selecting items (often called units) from a population where the probability of choosing a specific item is the proportion of those items in the population. For example, with a bowl containing just 10 red marbles and 90 blue marbles, a random selection mechanism would choose a red marble with probability 1/10. A random selection mechanism that selected 10 marbles from this bowl would not necessarily result in 1 red and 9 blue. In situations where a population consists of items that are distinguishable, a random selection mechanism requires equal probabilities for any item to be chosen. That is, if the selection process is such that each member of a population, say research subjects, has the same probability of being chosen, then we can say the selection process is random.According to Ramsey theory, pure randomness is impossible, especially for large structures. Mathematician Theodore Motzkin suggested that "while disorder is more probable in general, complete disorder is impossible". Misunderstanding this can lead to numerous conspiracy theories. Cristian S. Calude stated that "given the impossibility of true randomness, the effort is directed towards studying degrees of randomness". It can be proven that there is infinite hierarchy (in terms of quality or strength) of forms of randomness.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Randomnoun

    force; violence

  2. Randomnoun

    a roving motion; course without definite direction; want of direction, rule, or method; hazard; chance; -- commonly used in the phrase at random, that is, without a settled point of direction; at hazard

  3. Randomnoun

    distance to which a missile is cast; range; reach; as, the random of a rifle ball

  4. Randomnoun

    the direction of a rake-vein

  5. Randomadjective

    going at random or by chance; done or made at hazard, or without settled direction, aim, or purpose; hazarded without previous calculation; left to chance; haphazard; as, a random guess

  6. Etymology: [OE. randon, OF. randon force, violence, rapidity, randon, de randon, violently, suddenly, rapidly, prob. of German origin; cf. G. rand edge, border, OHG. rant shield, edge of a shield, akin to E. rand, n. See Rand, n.]


  1. Random

    Random is a fictional character and antihero created by writer Peter David for the Marvel Comics series X-Factor. He started out as a thorn in the side of X-Factor, but he later became a reluctant ally of theirs. The mystery of his life has yet to be completely revealed.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Random

    ran′dum, adj. done or uttered at haphazard: left to chance: aimless—(obs.) Ran′don.—n. something done without aim, chance—now only in phrase, At random, haphazard.—adv. Ran′domly, without direction: by chance. [O. Fr. randon, urgency, haste; from Teut.; Ger. rand, a brim.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. random

    1. Unpredictable (closest to mathematical definition); weird. “The system's been behaving pretty randomly.” 2. Assorted; undistinguished. “Who was at the conference?” “Just a bunch of random business types.” 3. (pejorative) Frivolous; unproductive; undirected. “He's just a random loser.” 4. Incoherent or inelegant; poorly chosen; not well organized. “The program has a random set of misfeatures.” “That's a random name for that function.” “Well, all the names were chosen pretty randomly.” 5. In no particular order, though deterministic. “The I/O channels are in a pool, and when a file is opened one is chosen randomly.” 6. Arbitrary. “It generates a random name for the scratch file.” 7. Gratuitously wrong, i.e., poorly done and for no good apparent reason. For example, a program that handles file name defaulting in a particularly useless way, or an assembler routine that could easily have been coded using only three registers, but redundantly uses seven for values with non-overlapping lifetimes, so that no one else can invoke it without first saving four extra registers. What randomness! 8. n. A random hacker; used particularly of high-school students who soak up computer time and generally get in the way. 9. n. Anyone who is not a hacker (or, sometimes, anyone not known to the hacker speaking); the noun form of sense 2. “I went to the talk, but the audience was full of randoms asking bogus questions”. 10. n. (occasional MIT usage) One who lives at Random Hall. See also J. Random, some random X. 11. [UK] Conversationally, a non sequitur or something similarly out-of-the-blue. As in: “Stop being so random!” This sense equates to ‘hatstand’, taken from the Viz comic character “Roger Irrelevant - He's completely Hatstand.”

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. random

    Distance to which a missile is thrown or projected; range; reach; as, the farthest random of a missile weapon.

Suggested Resources

  1. random

    Song lyrics by random -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by random on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'random' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4731

  2. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'random' in Adjectives Frequency: #647

Anagrams for random »

  1. mandor

  2. rodman

How to pronounce random?

How to say random in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of random in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of random in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of random in a Sentence

  1. German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt:

    It is clear that the Federal Office for Motor Traffic will not exclusively concentrate on the VW models in question but that it will also carry out random tests on vehicles made by other carmakers.

  2. Warren Zevon:

    We made mad love Shadow love Random love And abandoned love Accidentally like a martyr The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder

  3. Richard Pildes:

    This memo basically argues that any random group of persons in a state can submit a paper to Congress claiming to be the true electors of a state.

  4. Susan Bro:

    She was a normal 32-year-old, feisty woman, she had rough edges, just like anybody, and she was a random murder in a mass car attack. She just happened to be the one that took the brunt force.

  5. Caroline Vandergriff/KOKH:

    It made me wonder whether someone stole her for dog fighting and either cut or tried to starve her to make her aggressive, bridget was also found wearing her distinctive pink, floral collar, and her leash, and my phone number was scratched off her tag — maybe the thief got spooked by all the media attention and dumped her on a random road.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for random

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for random »


Find a translation for the random definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these random definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "random." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 6 Feb. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/random>.

    Are we missing a good definition for random? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    Lengthy word or many syllables.
    • A. naiant
    • B. lank
    • C. sesquipedalian
    • D. ostensive

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for random: