random number
  • IPA: /ˈɹændəm ˈnʌmbə/

random number (plural random numbers)

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see random, number
  2. A number allotted randomly using suitable generator (electronic machine or as simple "generator" as die).
  3. A number selected based on a uniform distribution, typically using a suitable generator (for example, rolling a die).
    • 1975, Gregory Chaitin, "Randomness and Mathematical Proof", Scientific American, (232), May 1975, pp. 47–52, reprinted in Information, Randomness & Incompleteness: Papers on Algorithmic Information Theory
      Tossing a coin is a classical procedure for producing a random number .... Tossing a coin 20 times can produce any one of 220 ... binary series, and each of them has exactly the same probability.
    • 1998, Stuart Mealing, The Art and Science of Computer Animation (Intellect Books) p. 208 ↗
      A random number is a precisely defined mathematical concept in which every number should have an equal likeliness of occurrence....
    • 2009, Larry Rittenberg, Karla Johnstone, Audrey Gramling, Auditing: A Business Risk Approach (Cengage Learning) p. 362 ↗
      To randomize the selection process, a random number from 1 to 50 should be used ... This could be done, for example, by using the last two digits of the serial number on a dollar bill. If those digits were 87, subtract 50, leaving 37.
  4. A pseudorandom number.
    • 1970, Robert Coveyou (attributed)
      The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.
  • French: nombre aléatoire
  • German: Zufallszahl
  • Portuguese: número aleatório
  • Russian: случа́йное число́
  • Spanish: número aleatorio

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