at random
Random Ran"dom, a. 1. 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. [1913 Webster]

Some random truths he can impart. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster]

So sharp a spur to the lazy, and so strong a bridle to the random. --H. Spencer. [1913 Webster]

2. (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. [PJC]

3. (Construction) of unequal size or shape; made from components of unequal size or shape. [PJC]

{at random} in a manner so that all possible results have an equal probability of occurrence; for processes, each possible result is counted separately although the same type of result may occur more than once .

{Random courses} (Masonry), courses of stone of unequal thickness.

{Random shot}, a shot not directed or aimed toward any particular object, or a shot with the muzzle of the gun much elevated.

{Random work} (Masonry), stonework consisting of stones of unequal sizes fitted together, but not in courses nor always with flat beds. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • at random — {adv. phr.} With no order, plan, or purpose; in a mixed up, or thoughtless way. * /He opened the letters at random./ * /His clothes were scattered about the room at random./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • at random — {adv. phr.} With no order, plan, or purpose; in a mixed up, or thoughtless way. * /He opened the letters at random./ * /His clothes were scattered about the room at random./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • at random — ► without involving any system or decision: chosen/drawn/selected at random »The winner will be the first complete entry drawn at random after the closing date. Main Entry: ↑random …   Financial and business terms

  • at random — adverb in a random manner (Freq. 1) the houses were randomly scattered bullets were fired into the crowd at random • Syn: ↑randomly, ↑indiscriminately, ↑haphazardly, ↑willy nilly, ↑arbitrarily, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • at random — (from Idioms in Speech) without aim or purpose ... he then, with a fine air of casualness, stuck a pin into the list at random. (J. Wain) I think it must be the fat one in the mask, Wormold said at random. (Gr. Greene) I fly at random from point… …   Idioms and examples

  • at\ random — adv. phr. With no order, plan, or purpose; in a mixed up, or thoughtless way. He opened the letters at random. His clothes were scattered about the room at random …   Словарь американских идиом

  • at random — phrasal without definite aim, direction, rule, or method < subjects chosen at random > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • at random — we chose the names at random Syn: unsystematically, arbitrarily, randomly, unmethodically, haphazardly …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • at random — without a particular method, pattern, or purpose They picked names out of the telephone book at random …   English dictionary

  • at random — At hazard. Without any settled aim, purpose, or direction; left to chance; casual, or haphazard. Commonwealth v Bynum, 20 Ky LR 1982, 50 SW 843 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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