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random

[ran-duh m] /ˈræn dəm/
adjective
1.
proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern:
the random selection of numbers.
2.
Statistics. of or characterizing a process of selection in which each item of a set has an equal probability of being chosen.
3.
Building Trades.
  1. (of building materials) lacking uniformity of dimensions:
    random shingles.
  2. (of ashlar) laid without continuous courses.
  3. constructed or applied without regularity:
    random bond.
4.
Informal.
  1. unknown, unidentified, or out of place:
    A couple of random guys showed up at the party.
  2. odd and unpredictable in an amusing way:
    my totally random life.
noun
5.
Chiefly British, bank3 (def 7b).
adverb
6.
Building Trades. without uniformity:
random-sized slates.
Idioms
7.
at random, without definite aim, purpose, method, or adherence to a prior arrangement; in a haphazard way:
Contestants were chosen at random from the studio audience.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English raundon, random < Old French randon, derivative of randir to gallop < Germanic
Related forms
randomly, adverb
randomness, noun
nonrandom, adjective
nonrandomly, adverb
nonrandomness, noun
Synonyms
1. haphazard, chance, fortuitous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for randomly
  • One of the big ones was that he once moved randomly next to a brewery.
  • So topics and poems tend to show up rather randomly at rather random times.
  • Then slabs of randomly cut red flagstone were laid on a gravel base.
  • Leave a few strands sticking up randomly around rim.
  • One-year subscriptions to the magazine were awarded to a number of randomly selected entries.
  • As you are driving, have them take turns randomly telling you to turn left or right.
  • At the beginning of the test, the fish did not know where to go, and they chose randomly.
  • In about half of the trials, a moth was randomly inserted into the displays.
  • Then, hand them out randomly to students who will again start on the outside border of the map.
  • Dutch town names appear to be randomly arranged letters you'd swear could never be turned into words.
British Dictionary definitions for randomly

random

/ˈrændəm/
adjective
1.
lacking any definite plan or prearranged order; haphazard: a random selection
2.
(statistics)
  1. having a value which cannot be determined but only described probabilistically: a random variable
  2. chosen without regard to any characteristics of the individual members of the population so that each has an equal chance of being selected: random sampling
3.
(informal) (of a person) unknown: some random guy waiting for a bus
noun
4.
at random, in a purposeless fashion; not following any prearranged order
Derived Forms
randomly, adverb
randomness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French randon, from randir to gallop, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German rinnan to run
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 randomly

random

adj.

"having no definite aim or purpose," 1650s, from at random (1560s), "at great speed" (thus, "carelessly, haphazardly"), alteration of Middle English noun randon "impetuosity, speed" (c.1300), from Old French randon "rush, disorder, force, impetuosity," from randir "to run fast," from Frankish *rant "a running" or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *randa (cf. Old High German rennen "to run," Old English rinnan "to flow, to run;" see run (v.)).

In 1980s U.S. college student slang it began to acquire a sense of "inferior, undesirable." (A 1980 William Safire column describes it as a college slang noun meaning "person who does not belong on our dormitory floor.") Random access in reference to computer memory is recorded from 1953. Related: Randomly; randomness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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randomly in Science
random
  (rān'dəm)   
  1. Relating to a type of circumstance or event that is described by a probability distribution.

  2. Relating to an event in which all outcomes are equally likely, as in the testing of a blood sample for the presence of a substance.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with randomly

random

see: at random
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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