Definition of 'arbitrary'
Video: pronunciation of 'arbitrary'
Example sentences containing 'arbitrary'
These examples have been automatically selected and may contain sensitive content. Read more…
These days arbitrary power has unmistakably comic undertones. Times, Sunday Times (2013)It makes what appear to be arbitrary choices between alternative possibilities. Infinite in All Directions (1989)To single out a handful seems rather arbitrary. Christianity Today (2000)It is a test case for the supremacy of law over arbitrary power. Times, Sunday Times (2016)Earnings may also be biased by inflation and a long list of arbitrary accounting choices. Principles of Corporate Finance (1991)The subject matter overlaps to a degree that makes the chapters seem arbitrary. The Times Literary Supplement (2013)It also tended to limit the exercise of arbitrary power by the emperor himself. World History: Patterns of Change and Continuity (1995)It seemed to be arbitrary and unsatisfactory. Times, Sunday Times (2009)But if implemented it would have represented a dangerous exercise in arbitrary power. Times, Sunday Times (2013)It can also seem a little arbitrary. Times, Sunday Times (2014)In fact the selection seems more arbitrary than this. The Times Literary Supplement (2012)Despite the rather arbitrary nature of the latter requirement, it makes perfect sense. Times, Sunday Times (2014)Such choices are quite arbitrary, and cannot be the basis of a serious definition of language. The Chomsky Update - Linguistics and Politics (1990)Under this political arrangement people gain a great deal of protection from the arbitrary exercise of power that is so common in agrarian societies. Macrosociology: An Introduction to Human Societies (1995)It meant legal rationality and efficiency, both of which were modern improvements on the arbitrary exercise of power. Times, Sunday Times (2011)They disciplined and discharged employees as they saw fit, with employees enjoying few protections from arbitrary and capricious treatment. Human Resource Management in Government (1995)And I should loathe for us to founder on so capricious and arbitrary a matter as a technical glitch. Times, Sunday Times (2007)The retrospective and, in some cases, arbitrary nature of the tax has been deeply resented. Times, Sunday Times (2010)Not only are the distinctions we draw between male nature and female nature largely arbitrary and often pure superstition: they are completely beside the point. Between Worlds: A Reader, Rhetoric and Handbook (1995)For an academic all-rounder, medicine was an almost arbitrary choice. Times, Sunday Times (2008)When punishment comes - such is the arbitrary nature of things - it is often for the wrong offence. Times, Sunday Times (2009)
Trends of 'arbitrary'
Very Common. arbitrary is one of the 4000 most commonly used words in the Collins dictionary
View usage for:
Translations for 'arbitrary'
British English: arbitrary ADJECTIVE
If you describe an action, rule, or decision as arbitrary, you think that it is not based on any principle, plan, or system.
Arbitrary arrests and detention without trial were common.
Definition of arbitrary from the Collins English Dictionary
5 unusual words & phrases to upgrade your World Cup 2018 banter
Impress your friends, family and colleagues with this unusual collection of football lingo.
VAR, planebae & a peng sort: July’s Words in the News
Catch up on the latest words in the news this July with Robert Groves.
Join the Collins community
All the latest wordy news, linguistic insights, offers and competitions every month.