arbitrary Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “arbitrary” in the English Dictionary

"arbitrary" in British English

See all translations

arbitraryadjective

uk   /ˈɑː.bɪ.trər.i/  us   /ˈɑːr.bə.trer-/
  • arbitrary adjective (CHANCE)

C2 based on ​chancerather than being ​planned or ​based on ​reason: arbitrary decision-making Did you have a ​reason for ​choosingyourdestination or was it arbitrary?

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

arbitrarily
adverb uk   /ˌɑː.bɪˈtreə.rɪ.li/  us   /ˌɑːr.bɪˈtrer.ɪ-/
We made the ​decision to go to Italy ​quite arbitrarily.
arbitrariness
noun [U] uk   us   /-nəs/
(Definition of arbitrary from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"arbitrary" in American English

See all translations

arbitraryadjective

 us   /ˈɑr·bɪˌtrer·i/
based on a ​desire or ​idea or ​chancerather than ​reason: Her ​outfit was an arbitrary ​choice but was just ​perfect.
arbitrarily
adverb  us   /ˌɑr·bəˈtreər·ə·li/
We didn’t ​think much about it, just arbitrarily ​decided to go to Italy.
arbitrariness
noun [U]  us   /ˌɑr·bəˈtreər·i·nəs/
disapproving The arbitrariness of ​humannatureinfuriates me.
(Definition of arbitrary from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of arbitrary?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“arbitrary” in American English

Word of the Day

float

a large vehicle with a flat surface that is decorated and used in festivals

Word of the Day

PLEASE DON’T SHOUT!
PLEASE DON’T SHOUT!
by Colin McIntosh,
February 09, 2016
New words are entering the language all the time. A few of these are completely new and original coinages, but the vast majority are based on the existing stock of words in some way, for example by using affixes (prefixes and suffixes). These can have the effect of changing the meaning of the

Read More 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More