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Meaning of ARBITRARY

Pronunciation:  'ârbi`treree

WordNet Dictionary
[adj]  based on or subject to individual discretion or preference or sometimes impulse or caprice; "an arbitrary decision"; "the arbitrary rule of a dictator";"an arbitrary penalty"; "of arbitrary size and shape"; "an arbitrary choice"; "arbitrary division of the group into halves"

ARBITRARY is a 9 letter word that starts with A.


 Synonyms: absolute, capricious, discretional, discretionary, impulsive, whimsical
 Antonyms: nonarbitrary, unarbitrary



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\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.

         It was wholly arbitrary in them to do so. --Jer.

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

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

         Arbitrary power is most easily established on the
         ruins of liberty abused licentiousness.

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

{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

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

 Definition: a characteristic of language that refers to the fact that a word, or other unit of sound, has no real connection to the thing it refers to. The meanings of the arbitrary elements of a language must be learned.
Thesaurus Terms
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