- 1(of an action, a decision, a rule, etc.) not seeming to be based on a reason, system, or plan and sometimes seeming unfair The choice of players for the team seemed completely arbitrary. He makes unpredictable, arbitrary decisions.
- 2(formal) using power without restriction and without considering other people the arbitrary powers of officials
adjectivejump to other results
arbitrarilyjump to other results
NAmE//ˌɑrbəˈtrɛrəli//adverb The leaders of the groups were chosen arbitrarily. The political frontiers in Africa were often arbitrarily drawn up by the old colonial powers.
arbitrarinessjump to other results
NAmE//ˈɑrbəˌtrɛrinəs//noun [uncountable] Court officials were suspected of arbitrariness and personal bias.