American English

Definition of random adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[usually before noun] done, chosen, etc. without someone deciding in advance what is going to happen, or without any regular pattern the random killing of innocent people a random sample/selection (= in which each thing has an equal chance of being chosen) The information is processed in a random order. (informal) He grabbed a random pair of jeans and an old red shirt. She dodged the random items that were on the concrete floor. I find and play a lot of random stuff—Bach, blues, bebop.
  2. 2[only before noun] (informal) (especially of a person) not known or not identified Some random guy gave me a hundred bucks. You don't want some random dude telling you how to live your life.
  3. 3(informal) a thing or person that is random is strange and does not make sense, often in a way that amuses or interests you Mom, you are so random! The humor is great because it's just so random and unhinged from reality.
    adverb The winning numbers are randomly selected by computer. My phone seems to turn itself off randomly.
    noun [uncountable] It introduced an element of randomness into the situation.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: random