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arbitrary

[ahr-bi-trer-ee] /ˈɑr bɪˌtrɛr i/
adjective
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; tyrannical:
an arbitrary government.
4.
capricious; unreasonable; unsupported:
an arbitrary demand for payment.
5.
Mathematics. undetermined; not assigned a specific value:
an arbitrary constant.
noun, plural arbitraries.
6.
arbitraries, Printing. (in Britain) peculiar (def 9).
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin arbitrārius uncertain (i.e., depending on an arbiter's decision). See arbiter, -ary
Related forms
arbitrarily
[ahr-bi-trer-uh-lee, ahr-bi-trair-] /ˈɑr bɪˌtrɛr ə li, ˌɑr bɪˈtrɛər-/ (Show IPA),
adverb
arbitrariness, noun
nonarbitrarily, adverb
nonarbitrariness, noun
nonarbitrary, adjective
unarbitrarily, adverb
unarbitrary, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for non-arbitrariness

arbitrary

/ˈɑːbɪtrərɪ/
adjective
1.
founded on or subject to personal whims, prejudices, etc; capricious
2.
having only relative application or relevance; not absolute
3.
(of a government, ruler, etc) despotic or dictatorial
4.
(maths) not representing any specific value: an arbitrary constant
5.
(law) (esp of a penalty or punishment) not laid down by statute; within the court's discretion
Derived Forms
arbitrarily, adverb
arbitrariness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin arbitrārius arranged through arbitration, uncertain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for non-arbitrariness

arbitrary

adj.

early 15c., "deciding by one's own discretion," from Old French arbitraire (14c.) or directly from Latin arbitrarius "depending on the will, uncertain," from arbiter (see arbiter). The original meaning gradually descended to "capricious" and "despotic" (1640s). Related: Arbitrarily; arbitrariness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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