Definition - adj
1  : depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by standards, rules, or law <the manner of punishment is ~>
2 a  : not restrained or limited in the exercise of power <an ~ government>
b  : marked by or resulting from the unrestrained exercise of power <protection from ~ arrest and detention>
3 a  : based on preference, bias, prejudice, or convenience rather than on reason or fact <an ~ standard> <different provisions for the married and the unmarried were irrational and ~ ­K. A. Cohen>
b  : existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as an unreasonable act of individual will without regard for facts or applicable law ­often used in the phrase arbitrary and capricious <an agency finding or conclusion of lack of evidence would be ~ and capricious if the record afforded no substantial basis for such a finding ­Irvin v. Hobby, 131 F. Supp. 851 (1955)>
Under section 706 of the Administrative Procedure Act, a court shall set aside an agency's action, findings, or conclusions determined upon review to be arbitrary.

Pronunciation Key

  • \&\ as a and u in a b ut
  • \[^&]\ as e in kitt en
  • \&r\ as ur and er in f urther
  • \a\ as a inash
  • \A\ as a in ace
  • \?\ as o in m op
  • \au\ as ou in ou t
  • \ch\ as ch in ch in
  • \e\ as e in bet
  • \E\ as ea in easy
  • \g\ as g in go
  • \i\ as i in hit
  • \I\ as i in ice
  • \j\ as j in job
  • \[ng]\ as ng in sing
  • \O\ as o in go
  • \o\ as aw in law
  • \oi\ as oy in boy
  • \th\ as th in thin
  • \[th_]\ as thin the
  • \?\ as oo in loot
  • \u\ as oo in foot
  • \y\ as y in yet
  • \zh\ as si in vision

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Based on Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©2001.
Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.