Definition of random in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrandəm/


1Made, done, or happening without method or conscious decision: apparently random violence
More example sentences
  • What is now required is to go beyond looking at what happened as a random event.
  • We don't want a list of random facts that just happen to be true of all the languages that are spoken now.
  • He becomes the victim of random violence, and is beaten to death by street thugs.
1.1 Statistics Governed by or involving equal chances for each item: a random sample of 100 households
More example sentences
  • The four conditions occurred in a random order and with equal probability within each block of trials.
  • Results are based on statistically valid random samples of members and are rigorously audited.
  • This has made the whole process of ensuring a random sample more difficult.
unsystematic, arbitrary, unmethodical, haphazard, unarranged, unplanned, undirected, casual, indiscriminate, non-specific, stray, erratic;
chance, accidental, hit-and-miss;
serendipitous, fortuitous, contingent, adventitious;
non-linear, entropic, fractal
rare aleatory, stochastic
1.2(Of masonry) with stones of irregular size and shape.
Example sentences
  • York stone flags, laid in random sizes, were chosen for the paving to give a sense of quality and scale.
2 informal, often derogatory Unfamiliar or unspecified: are you going to take some random guy on Twitter’s word? we stumbled on another live band playing at a random bar
More example sentences
  • You can't trust the people you're expecting to guard the schools any more than you can a random person off the street.
  • Perhaps their first response to a random phonecall shouldn't be a full-scale military intervention.
  • He's not even a video game guy, he's just some random finance guy who occasionally offers incredibly ill-informed opinions about video games.
2.1 informal Odd, unusual, or unexpected: the class was hard but he was so random that it was always fun
More example sentences
  • I had a sudden craving for chicken… Wow that was random.
  • He was in the hotel room next to us which was really random.
  • The things they say and ask are so random.


An unknown, unspecified, or odd person: I just sat down by myself and talked to some randoms some randoms in the crowd asked Ivan Ljubicic to take a photo for them unlike other fan mail from randoms, this was special
More example sentences
  • Click one to connect to other randoms with the same interest.
  • Then immediately I got multiple 'friend requests' from randoms.
  • Here's how you can tell if a color works on you: wear it all day long and if you get compliments from randoms, then you're set.


at random

Without method or conscious decision: he opened the book at random
More example sentences
  • Chrissy picked the blue map book up from the floor by her feet and opened it at random.
  • The attack was unprovoked and it seems he was selected at random for assassination.
  • Manu and Nadine meet up, and go on a road trip, picking up men, and killing at random.
unsystematically, arbitrarily, randomly, without prearrangement, without method, unmethodically, haphazardly, without conscious choice, leaving things to chance;
out of a hat, by lot


Middle English (in the sense 'impetuous headlong rush'): from Old French randon 'great speed', from randir 'gallop', from a Germanic root shared by rand2.

  • In early use random referred to an ‘impetuous headlong rush’. It comes from Old French randon ‘great speed’, from a Germanic root.

Words that rhyme with random

avizandum, fandom, memorandum, nil desperandum, tandem

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ran¦dom

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