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arbitrary

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arbitrary


  2  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  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. 
 
  It  was  wholly  arbitrary  in  them  to  do  so  --Jer. 
  Taylor. 
 
  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. 
  --Washington. 
 
  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 
  requirements. 
 
  {Arbitrary  quantity}  (Math.),  one  to  which  any  value  can  be 
  assigned  at  pleasure. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  arbitrary 
  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"  [ant:  {nonarbitrary}] 




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