Meaning of ARBITRARY in English


/ ˈɑːbɪtrəri; ˈɑːbɪtri; NAmE ˈɑːrbətreri/ adjective


( 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.


( formal ) using power without restriction and without considering other people :

the arbitrary powers of officials

►  ar·bi·trar·ily / ˌɑːbɪˈtrerəli; ˈɑːbɪtrəli; NAmE ˌɑːrbəˈt-/ adverb :

The leaders of the groups were chosen arbitrarily.

►  ar·bi·trari·ness noun [ U ]



late Middle English (in the sense dependent on one's will or pleasure, discretionary ): from Latin arbitrarius , from arbiter judge, supreme ruler, perhaps influenced by French arbitraire .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.