- 1Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system: an arbitrary decisionMore example sentences
capricious, whimsical, random, chance, erratic, unpredictable, inconsistent, wild, hit-or-miss, haphazard, casual; unmotivated, motiveless, unreasoned, unreasonable, unsupported, irrational, illogical, groundless, unjustifiable, unjustified, wanton; discretionary, personal, subjective• rare discretional
- The numbering of years is a cultural artifact based on some rather arbitrary decisions made along the way.
- I prefer to have my laws built on reason rather than arbitrary morality.
- This numbering system is an arbitrary designation based on small amino acid sequence differences.
- 2(Of power or a ruling body) unrestrained and autocratic in the use of authority: a country under arbitrary governmentMore example sentences
- These kings have not unlimited or arbitrary power, and the generals do more by example than by authority.
- By the time of the Revolution, the standing army had become a symbol of repressive authority and arbitrary rule.
- Freedom from arbitrary power is a great good - but so is the avoidance of anarchy.
- 3 Mathematics (Of a constant or other quantity) of unspecified value.More example sentences
- In contemporary frameworks, the rule of generalization invokes a singular term, the arbitrary constant introduced into the text.
- How you can tell whether a binary number of arbitrary size is divisible by 10 without looking at the whole number?
- He defined differential operators of arbitrary order D t.
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- This series of protests clearly did not occur arbitrarily or randomly.
- Anyone who falls within this date, decided arbitrarily without any logic, is promised the moon.
- Judgement is not being exercised by the users as they surf the net: it is being exercised arbitrarily by filtering software.
- More example sentences
- African territorial boundaries are however fraught with difficulties because of the arbitrariness with which they were drawn by the colonial authorities.
- Bulgaria will not tolerate political arbitrariness against the defendant medics.
- The race itself - a 1-meter dash - pokes fun at the sheer arbitrariness of modern athletic contests.
late Middle English (in the sense 'dependent on one's will or pleasure, discretionary'): from Latin arbitrarius, from arbiter 'judge, supreme ruler', perhaps influenced by French arbitraire.