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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 randomness
  • It is obvious that a language cannot go beyond a certain point in this randomness.
  • To an outsider, the randomness of such discoveries is shocking.
  • All those other events have elements of outside randomness to them.
  • The randomness of openings abets the now-or-never mentality.
  • It was far removed from the randomness of real-life relationships.
  • The sculpture, on the floor, speaks with sullen power of order and randomness and not much else.
  • And yet this is at odds with another of the great challenges facing modern science: understanding the nature of randomness.
  • It turns out instead that a better approach strategy is to inject an element of randomness into a regular foraging pattern.
  • There is a well-known parallel problem in defining randomness.
  • Not to over-prize consensus, it does possess certain advantages over randomness and chaos.
British Dictionary definitions for randomness

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 randomness

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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randomness 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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randomness in Technology


1. An inexplicable misfeature; gratuitous inelegance.
2. A hack or crock that depends on a complex combination of coincidences (or, possibly, the combination upon which the crock depends for its accidental failure to malfunction). "This hack can output characters 40--57 by putting the character in the four bit accumulator field of an XCT and then extracting six bits - the low 2 bits of the XCT opcode are the right thing." "What randomness!"
3. Of people, synonymous with "flakiness". The connotation is that the person so described is behaving weirdly, incompetently, or inappropriately for reasons which are (a) too tiresome to bother inquiring into, (b) are probably as inscrutable as quantum phenomena anyway, and (c) are likely to pass with time. "Maybe he has a real complaint, or maybe it's just randomness. See if he calls back."
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Idioms and Phrases with randomness

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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