What is another word for arbitrary?

Synonyms for arbitrary
ˈɑr bɪˌtrɛr iar·bi·tra·ry

This thesaurus page includes all potential synonyms, words with the same meaning and similar terms for the word arbitrary.

English Synonyms and Antonyms2.0 / 2 votes

  1. arbitrary

    In the strict sense, absolute, free from all limitation or control, and supreme, superior to all, can not properly be said of any being except the divine. Both words are used, however, in a modified sense, of human authorities; absolute then signifying free from limitation by other authority, and supreme exalted over all other; as, an absolute monarch, the supreme court. Absolute, in this use, does not necessarily carry any unfavorable sense, but as absolute power in human hands is always abused, the unfavorable meaning predominates. Autocratic power knows no limits outside the ruler's self; arbitrary power, none outside the ruler's will or judgment, arbitrary carrying the implication of wilfulness and capriciousness. Despotic is commonly applied to a masterful or severe use of power, which is expressed more decidedly by tyrannical. Arbitrary may be used in a good sense; as, the pronunciation of proper names is arbitrary; but the bad sense is the prevailing one; as, an arbitrary proceeding. Irresponsible power is not necessarily bad, but eminently dangerous; an executor or trustee should not be irresponsible; an irresponsible ruler is likely to be tyrannical. A perfect ruler might be irresponsible and not tyrannical. Authoritative is used always in a good sense, implying the right to claim authority; imperative, peremptory, and positive are used ordinarily in the good sense; as, an authoritative definition; an imperative demand; a peremptory command; positive instructions; imperious signifies assuming and determined to command, rigorously requiring obedience. An imperious demand or requirement may have in it nothing offensive; it is simply one that resolutely insists upon compliance, and will not brook refusal; an arrogant demand is offensive by its tone of superiority, an arbitrary demand by its unreasonableness; an imperious disposition is liable to become arbitrary and arrogant. A person of an independent spirit is inclined to resent an imperious manner in any one, especially in one whose superiority is not clearly recognized. Commanding is always used in a good sense; as, a commanding appearance; a commanding eminence. Compare DOGMATIC; INFINITE; PERFECT.

    Synonyms:
    absolute, arrogant, authoritative, autocratic, coercive, commanding, compulsive, compulsory, controlling, despotic, dictatorial, dogmatic, domineering, exacting, haughty, imperative, imperious, irresponsible, lordly, overbearing, peremptory, positive, supreme, tyrannical, unconditional, unequivocal

    Antonyms:
    accountable, complaisant, compliant, conditional, constitutional, contingent, docile, ductile, gentle, humble, lenient, limited, lowly, meek, mild, responsible, submissive, yielding

Complete Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms3.0 / 2 votes

  1. arbitrary

    Synonyms:
    tyrannical, harsh, dictatorial, imperious, bearing, overbearing, selfish, absolute, irresponsible, tyrannous, domineering, peremptory

    Antonyms:
    mild, modest, lenient, considerate, obliging, limited, equitable, constitutional

Princeton's WordNet4.0 / 1 vote

  1. arbitraryadjective

    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"

    Antonyms:
    unarbitrary, nonarbitrary, prescribed

Dictionary of English Synonymes5.0 / 1 vote

  1. arbitraryadjective

    Synonyms:
    irresponsible, absolute, tyrannical, tyrannous, imperious, domineering, bound by no law

  2. arbitraryadjective

    Synonyms:
    optional, voluntary, determined by no rule or principle

Synonyms, Antonyms & Associated Words0.0 / 0 votes

  1. arbitraryadjective

    Synonyms:
    tyrannical, absolute, imperious, unrestrained, dictatorial

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Words popularity by usage frequency

rankingword
#1467positive
#1866random
#3424supreme
#4304absolute
#5920bearing
#6967controlling
#8512arbitrary
#11437harsh
#11526compulsory
#13365abusive
#14966imperative
#15906authoritative
#18281selfish
#18362commanding
#21321unconditional
#21751arrogant
#21957compulsive
#24231irresponsible
#24981arbitrarily
#37633coercive
#39188exacting
#39191wanton
#45715capricious
#46809dogmatic
#47283unequivocal
#47599indiscriminate
#53063haughty
#58403tyrannical
#61448dictatorial
#64264overbearing
#64686autocratic
#71468despotic
#73290peremptory
#88982imperious
#90152domineering
#96025arbitrariness
#128829lordly
#275857tyrannous

How to use arbitrary in a sentence?

  1. Eddie Bernice Johnson:

    I would like America to continue to strive to achieve the challenging and inspiring goal of landing astronauts on Mars, and if the Moon is an essential interim step, then I would support going there too, however, I am not prepared to cannibalize the rest of NASA's program or force the agency into taking foolhardy risks or making short-sighted plans simply to meet an arbitrary deadline.

  2. Emma Winger:

    The government locks people up — often in remote facilities far from family and legal services providers — while erecting arbitrary barriers to accessing counsel, immigrants in detention should not have to struggle to have private conversations with their lawyers. The stakes are too high.

  3. David Dow:

    Their arbitrary and, at least for now, hostile response to all religion reveals a real need for close judicial oversight of the execution protocol.

  4. Edmund King:

    Many commentators use high-profile car crashes involving elderly drivers as a reason to call for bans or restrictions on older drivers, the decision to hang up your keys is a tough one but should be based on personal advice from your GP and family rather than being based on some arbitrary age. We all age differently and the car is an essential lifeline for many elderly people.

  5. Evan Greer:

    Among young folks especially, there is skyrocketing skepticism about arbitrary forms of power, either from the government or corporations, and we see that play out in the crypto community, the traditional left-right party politics that have dominated Evan Greer politics for young people are really starting to erode.


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"arbitrary." Synonyms.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 27 Feb. 2024. <https://www.synonyms.com/synonym/arbitrary>.

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