Definition of random adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈrændəm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrændəm//
    jump to other results
  1. 1[usually before noun] done, chosen, etc. without somebody 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 pair of random 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 humour is great because it's just so random and unhinged from reality.
  4. Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘impetuous headlong rush’): from Old French randon ‘great speed’, from randir ‘gallop’.Extra examples Questionnaires were sent to a random selection of households. Random checks are made on the goods leaving the factory. Random numbers are generated by the computer. The group to be studied was selected on a random basis. The names are listed in random order. The school introduced random drug testing. There’s no motive for this kind of random killing. They interviewed a random sample of head teachers.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: random