random

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj random lacking any definite plan or order or purpose; governed by or depending on chance "a random choice","bombs fell at random","random movements"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Bibliomancy is the practice by some people of opening the Bible at random and being guided for the day by whatever verse they see first.
    • Random A roving motion; course without definite direction; want of direction, rule, or method; hazard; chance; -- commonly used in the phrase at random, that is, without a settled point of direction; at hazard. "Counsels, when they fly At random , sometimes hit most happily.""O, many a shaft, at random sent,
      Finds mark the archer little meant!"
    • Random Distance to which a missile is cast; range; reach; as, the random of a rifle ball.
    • Random Force; violence. "For courageously the two kings newly fought with great random and force."
    • Random Going at random or by chance; done or made at hazard, or without settled direction, aim, or purpose; hazarded without previous calculation; left to chance; haphazard; as, a random guess. "Some random truths he can impart.""So sharp a spur to the lazy, and so strong a bridle to the random ."
    • Random (Construction) of unequal size or shape; made from components of unequal size or shape.
    • Random (Statistics) of, pertaining to, or resulting from a process of selection from a starting set of items, in which the probability of selecting any one object in the starting set is equal to the probability of selecting any other.
    • Random (Mining) The direction of a rake-vein.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The Code of Hammurabi made it forbidden to randomly mistreat slaves. However, the code also stated that slaves were to be branded on the forehead and forbidden to hide or mask the mark.
    • n random A rushing, as of a torrent; an impetuous course; impetuosity; violence; force: especially with great, as in the phrase a great random, with great speed or force.
    • n random A rush; spurt; gush.
    • n random A continuous flow of words; a harangue.
    • n random An indeterminate course or proceeding; hence, lack of direction, rule, or method; haphazard; chance: used only in the phrase at random—that is, in a haphazard, aimless, and purely fortuitous manner.
    • n random The distance traversed by a missile; range; reach.
    • random Proceeding, taken, done, or existing at random; aimless; fortuitous; haphazard; casual.
    • n random Something done or produced without definite method, or with irregular or haphazard effect. In masonry, one of a number of dressed stones of irregular or unmatched sizes. See random stonework, under I.
    • n random In dyeing, clouded yarn. See random yarn, under I.
    • n random In mining, the direction of a rake-vein.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The movie "Clue" has three different endings. Each ending was randomly chosen for different theaters. All three endings are present in the home video.
    • adj Random ran′dum done or uttered at haphazard: left to chance: aimless—(obs.) Ran′don
    • n Random something done without aim, chance—now only in phrase, At random, haphazard
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Quotations

  • Italo Calvino
    Italo%20Calvino
    “Novels as dull as dishwater, with the grease of random sentiments floating on top.”
  • Princess of Wales Diana
    Princess%20of%20Wales%20Diana
    “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Most people are content to let perfect days happen at random rather than PLAN for them.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. randon, OF. randon, force, violence, rapidity, à randon, de randon, violently, suddenly, rapidly, prob. of German origin; cf. G. rand, edge, border, OHG. rant, shield, edge of a shield, akin to E. rand, n. See Rand (n.)

Usage

In literature:

Or just random bits of gossip?
"The Revolt on Venus" by Carey Rockwell
Then children of the same age and sex, picked at random from the same schools, were measured in the same way.
"Applied Eugenics" by Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson
Which, think you, knows most, the Theseus, or any modern professor taken at random?
"Selections from Previous Worksand Remarks on Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals" by Samuel Butler
It was simply throwing filth at random.
"Alexander Pope" by Leslie Stephen
Chairs shoved around at random.
"The Cosmic Computer" by Henry Beam Piper
The dreams which resulted were necessarily random in nature.
"The Status Civilization" by Robert Sheckley
Poor Jeffreys winced before this random shot, and hastened to divert the conversation.
"A Dog with a Bad Name" by Talbot Baines Reed
I fired at random, and then my senses were going, but I heard your shots.
"To Win or to Die" by George Manville Fenn
The daylight faded, the rain fell more heavily, and he continued to plunge at random into unknown paths.
"Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 6" by Charles H. Sylvester
The floor was littered with packing cases and with books piled together at random.
"In Kings' Byways" by Stanley J. Weyman
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In poetry:

And as the lark's free carol floats
High on a sea of sound,
So let me fling my random notes
To ripple round and round.
""The lark confinèd in his cage"" by Alfred Austin
The richness of the garden soil
You show. All noble seeds
Flower in your nature, nor disdain
Some wild and random weeds.
"Immortal Eve - III" by Manmohan Ghose
We sang old love-songs on the way
In sad and merry snatches,
Your fingers o'er the strings astray
Strumming the random catches.
"Reminiscence" by John Charles McNeill
The breeze so softly blew it made
No forest leaf to quiver,
And the smoke of the random cannonade
Rolled slowly from the river.
"Music In Camp" by John Reuben Thompson
``I gather the yellow weasel—snout,
As I wander the woods at random,
Or I stoop stone—still, and tickle the trout,
And at times, for a lark, I land 'em.
"An April Fool" by Alfred Austin
"And so it was with me."
O false my friend!
False, false, a random charge, a blame undue;
Wrest not fair reasoning to a crooked end:
False, false, as you are true!
"Honours -- Part I" by Jean Ingelow

In news:

Syrie Moskowitz / Random House.
This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone May 17 to 20, among a random sample of 1,004 adults.
A Biography by Joseph Blotner Random House, 1,846 of text, 269 of notes (2 volumes) pp.
Mine checks my pulse when I'm passed out drunk (hooray dating a nurse) and randomly brings me food at work…among other things.
And the randomly chosen winner is Kathy, congratulations.
Sometimes I stop myself in the middle of the day and think random thoughts.
This is so completely random that we love it.
"Pull out random pieces for an undone look like Whitney Port's," says Monahan.
Email your name, rank and file to Soldier@wmmr.com and we'll select 5 winners at random to join us, each with 3 guests.
Attorney Sara Maynard doesn't drive a flashy sports car, but a well-worn, 15-year-old minivan filled with random toys, school papers and snack wrappers.
"However, I have no control over the way the stone breaks to form natural fractals , which introduces a certain randomness.".
Filling in for Elizabeth with anything random and fun I can get my hands on.
Adam, Eve, and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels Random House, 189 pp.
Tyler Hansbrough is not a good looking dude (and other random observations from Bulls/Pacers).
DNP Random Things PicsIf you've been watching the sexy and scandalous Bravo reality show Miami Social (Tuesdays at 10pm) like we have, then you gotta love Michael.
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In science:

Classical random walks can take many different forms, starting from the simple discrete random walk on a line, to random walks on graphs, to continuous time random walks, such as brownian motion.
Implementing the quantum random walk
At this point we are given three random variables: random quadrangulations Ln , random well labelled trees Wn and random embedded trees Un .
Random Planar Lattices and Integrated SuperBrownian Excursion
In the case where D = 1, the Chaitin D-randomness and Solovay D-randomness result in Chaitin randomness and Solovay randomness respectively, which are defined in [C3].
A Generalization of Chaitin's Halting Probability \Omega and Halting Self-Similar Sets
B is n-random and A A converse has been proved by van Lambalgen : is n-random relative to B , then A ⊕ B is n-random; then it follows that B is also n-random relative to A.
Independence Properties of Algorithmically Random Sequences
We consider random walks in a random environment of the type p0 + γ ξz , where p0 denotes the transition probabilities of a stationary random walk on Zd , to nearest neighbors, and ξz is an i.i.d. random perturbation.
Ballistic random walks in random environment at low disorder
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