General Science

  • adjective not specially selected


  • adjective done without making any special selection


  • That which has no regular pattern, possessing an equal chance of all possible events, locations, or the like occurring in consecutive instances. Although certain phenomena, such as some natural frequencies, may have a random nature, they can have a regular distribution such as a Gaussian distribution.


  • noun the sloping top part of a composing frame


  • noun (a person who is) unfashionable, unattractive, mediocre, unwanted or excluded from fashionable circles. The term was popular among adolescents, particularly female, on college and high-school campuses in the US during the 1990s.
  • verb to pull or score with a stranger. An item of student slang in use in London and elsewhere since around 2000.

Origin & History of “random”

The antecedents of random are somewhat murky. It originally meant ‘impetuosity, sudden speed, violence’, and only in the mid 17th century emerged as an adjective meaning ‘haphazard’. It was borrowed from Old French randon, which was probably a derivative of the verb randir ‘run impetuously’. this in turn was based on Frankish *rant ‘running’, which was apparently descended from prehistoric Germanic *randa. This originally meant ‘edge’ (it is the source of English rand (OE), now obsolete as a term for ‘edge’, but reintroduced in the 20th century via Afrikaans as the name of the basic south African currency unit), but it was also widely used for ‘shield’, and it is thought that the link with ‘running impetuously’ may be the notion of soldiers running along with their shields.