Arbitrary quantity
Arbitrary Ar"bi*tra*ry, a. [L. arbitrarius, fr. arbiter: cf. F. arbitraire. See {Arbiter}.] 1. Depending on will or discretion; not governed by any fixed rules; as, an arbitrary decision; an arbitrary punishment. [1913 Webster]

It was wholly arbitrary in them to do so. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

Rank pretends to fix the value of every one, and is the most arbitrary of all things. --Landor. [1913 Webster]

2. Exercised according to one's own will or caprice, and therefore conveying a notion of a tendency to abuse the possession of power. [1913 Webster]

Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused licentiousness. --Washington. [1913 Webster]

3. Despotic; absolute in power; bound by no law; harsh and unforbearing; tyrannical; as, an arbitrary prince or government. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

{Arbitrary constant}, {Arbitrary function} (Math.), a quantity of function that is introduced into the solution of a problem, and to which any value or form may at will be given, so that the solution may be made to meet special requirements.

{Arbitrary quantity} (Math.), one to which any value can be assigned at pleasure. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Arbitrary — Ar bi*tra*ry, a. [L. arbitrarius, fr. arbiter: cf. F. arbitraire. See {Arbiter}.] 1. Depending on will or discretion; not governed by any fixed rules; as, an arbitrary decision; an arbitrary punishment. [1913 Webster] It was wholly arbitrary in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Arbitrary constant — Arbitrary Ar bi*tra*ry, a. [L. arbitrarius, fr. arbiter: cf. F. arbitraire. See {Arbiter}.] 1. Depending on will or discretion; not governed by any fixed rules; as, an arbitrary decision; an arbitrary punishment. [1913 Webster] It was wholly… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Arbitrary function — Arbitrary Ar bi*tra*ry, a. [L. arbitrarius, fr. arbiter: cf. F. arbitraire. See {Arbiter}.] 1. Depending on will or discretion; not governed by any fixed rules; as, an arbitrary decision; an arbitrary punishment. [1913 Webster] It was wholly… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Quantity — is a kind of property which exists as magnitude or multitude. It is among the basic classes of things along with quality, substance, change, and relation. Quantity was first introduced as quantum, an entity having quantity. Being a fundamental… …   Wikipedia

  • Arbitrary function — Function Func tion, n. [L. functio, fr. fungi to perform, execute, akin to Skr. bhuj to enjoy, have the use of: cf. F. fonction. Cf. {Defunct}.] 1. The act of executing or performing any duty, office, or calling; performance. In the function of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Arbitrary constant — Constant Con stant, n. 1. That which is not subject to change; that which is invariable. [1913 Webster] 2. (Math.) A quantity that does not change its value; used in countradistinction to {variable}. [1913 Webster] 3. (Astron.) A number whose… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Arbitrary coefficient — Coefficient Co ef*fi cient, n. 1. That which unites in action with something else to produce the same effect. [1913 Webster] 2. [Cf. F. coefficient.] (Math.) A number or letter put before a letter or quantity, known or unknown, to show how many… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • arbitrary — [ α:bɪt(rə)ri] adjective 1》 based on random choice or personal whim. 2》 (of power or a ruling body) autocratic. 3》 Mathematics (of a constant or other quantity) of unspecified value. Derivatives arbitrarily adverb arbitrariness noun Origin ME:… …   English new terms dictionary

  • Variable-length quantity — A variable length quantity (VLQ) is a universal code that uses an arbitrary number of binary octets (eight bit bytes) to represent an infinitely large integer. It was defined for use in the standard MIDI file format [ [http://www.borg.com/… …   Wikipedia

  • Positive quantity — Positive Pos i*tive, a. [OE. positif, F. positif, L. positivus. See {Position}.] 1. Having a real position, existence, or energy; existing in fact; real; actual; opposed to negative. Positive good. Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2. Derived from an object… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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