arbitrary


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Related to arbitrary: arbitrarily, Arbitrary constant

arbitrary

1. Maths not representing any specific value
2. Law (esp of a penalty or punishment) not laid down by statute; within the court's discretion

arbitrary

Varying. Inconsistent. For example, many technical concepts, programming language commands and programming calls (APIs) have arbitrary names that were chosen without being carefully thought out. See naming fiascos.
References in classic literature ?
None pay a greater regard to arbitrary divisions of time than those who are excluded from society; and Dorcas mentioned, as if the information were of importance, that it was now the twelfth of May.
It has been observed that the routine of daily life, that arbitrary system of trifles, is a great moral support.
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
Such a meaning would be arbitrary and could not be deduced in any way.
She was ashamed of herself for her gloom of the night, based on nothing more tangible than a sense of condemnation under an arbitrary law of society which had no foundation in Nature.
In reality they all lived in a kind of hieroglyphic world, where the real thing was never said or done or even thought, but only represented by a set of arbitrary signs; as when Mrs.
Think not that there is anything arbitrary in the numbers of parts of which that whole, that mysterious microcosm which you call a drama or a romance, is composed.
Laws of motion of any kind become comprehensible to man only when he examines arbitrarily selected elements of that motion; but at the same time, a large proportion of human error comes from the arbitrary division of continuous motion into discontinuous elements.
He remembered his walk westward yesterday with a shudder, as though indeed it had been a sort of nightmare, and wondered whether she too had regarded him with the eyes of those loungers on the pavement - whether she too was one of those who looked for a man to conform to the one arbitrary and universal type.
Early in the new week, Emily had accepted Sir Jervis's proposal, and had so interested the bookseller to whom she had been directed to apply, that he took it on himself to modify the arbitrary instructions of his employer.
Now, I don't wish to be selfish or arbitrary, because I am her guardian, and I shall leave Rose free to choose for herself.
This classification is evidently not arbitrary like the grouping of the stars in constellations.