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Pronunciation: ran'dom

Definition: Governed by chance; used of a process in which the outcome is indeterminate but may assume any of a set of values (the domain) with probabilities specifiable in advance. Although the random process is widely used in probability theory, empiric justification for the term is more complicated. The minimum requirement is that repeated realization of the process will settle down to a stable distribution or, if not metric, a stable set of frequencies if the trait is classifiable only.

See: random mechanism

[M.E. randon, speed, errancy, fr. O. Fr. randir, to run, fr. Germanic]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.