dict.org

The DICT Development Group


Search for:
Search type:
Database:

Database copyright information
Server information
Wiki: Resources, links, and other information


4 definitions found
 for Arbitrary
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  arbitrary
      adj 1: 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" [ant: nonarbitrary, unarbitrary]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  133 Moby Thesaurus words for "arbitrary":
     absolute, absolutist, absolutistic, aristocratic, arrogant,
     autarchic, authoritarian, authoritative, autocratic, autonomous,
     bossy, capricious, careless, chance, chancy, cranky, crotchety,
     despotic, dictatorial, discretional, discretionary, dogmatic,
     domineering, doubtful, elective, erratic, fanciful, fantasied,
     fantastic, feudal, flaky, freakish, free, free will, gratuitous,
     grinding, harebrained, heedless, high-handed, humorsome, iffy,
     imperative, imperial, imperious, impetuous, inadvertent,
     inconsiderate, inconsistent, independent, indiscreet, irrational,
     kinky, kooky, lordly, maggoty, magisterial, magistral, masterful,
     monocratic, moody, motiveless, nonmandatory, notional, offered,
     oppressive, optional, oracular, overbearing, overruling,
     peremptory, petulant, precipitate, proffered, quirky, random, rash,
     reasonless, repressive, screwball, self-acting, self-active,
     self-determined, self-determining, severe, spontaneous, strict,
     subjective, summary, suppressive, temperamental, thoughtless,
     tyrannical, tyrannous, unasked, unbesought, unbidden,
     uncalculating, uncalled-for, uncertain, uncoerced, uncompelled,
     uncompromising, unconstrained, undisciplined, unforced, unguarded,
     uninfluenced, uninvited, unpredictable, unpressured, unprompted,
     unreasonable, unreasoning, unreflecting, unrequested, unrequired,
     unrestrained, unruly, unsolicited, unsought, unthinking,
     unthoughtful, vagarious, vagrant, varying, voluntary, volunteer,
     wanton, wayward, whimsical, wild, willful, zany
  
  

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  ARBITRARY. What depends on the will of the judge, not regulated or
  established by law. Bacon (Aphor. 8) says, Optima lex quae minimum relinquit
  arbitrio judicis et (Aph. 46) optimus judex, qui mi nimum sibi
       2. In all well adjusted systems of law every thing is regulated, and
  nothing arbitrary can be allowed; but there is a discretion which is
  sometimes allowed by law which leaves the judge free to act as he pleases to
  a certain extent. See Discretion
  
  

Questions or comments about this site? Contact webmaster@dict.org