arbitrary Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of “arbitrary” - English Dictionary

Definition of "arbitrary" - American English Dictionary

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)

Definition of "arbitrary" - British English Dictionary

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?
More examples

arbitrary adjective (UNFAIR)

disapproving using ​unlimitedpersonalpower without ​considering other people's ​wishes: an arbitrary ​ruler The ​company has been the ​subject of an arbitrary take-over.
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 Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of arbitrary?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day

conker

the shiny brown poisonous nut of a horse chestnut tree

Word of the Day

Meerkat meme
Meerkat meme
by Colin McIntosh,
September 03, 2015
Meerkats are not new to popular culture (they appear in the folk tales of the San people of the Kalahari), but their arrival in the public’s consciousness, at least in the UK and the US, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Meerkats are small, sociable Southern African mammals that live in large family

Read More 

parklet noun
parklet noun
August 31, 2015
a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

Read More