Depending on will or discretion; not governed by any fixed rules; as, an arbitrary decision; an arbitrary punishment.
- Determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle: stopped at the first motel we passed, an arbitrary choice.
- Based on or subject to individual judgment or preference: The diet imposes overall calorie limits, but daily menus are arbitrary.
- Established by a court or judge rather than by a specific law or statute: an arbitrary penalty.
- Not limited by law; despotic: the arbitrary rule of a dictator.