arbitrary Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “arbitrary” in the English Dictionary

"arbitrary" in British English

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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?

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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

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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)
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“arbitrary” in American English

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