Pronunciation: /ˈɑr.bɪˌtrɛ.ri/ Explain

To choose an arbitrary member of a set is to choose any member of the set without restriction.[2] In math writing, we sometimes want to state that you can pick any member of a set without restriction, and the statement is still true. For real numbers, this means that you can pick any real number, and the statement is true. An example of this is the statement, "Let x be an arbitrary integer." This means that x can be any integer.


  1. McAdams, David E.. All Math Words Dictionary, arbitrary. 2nd Classroom edition 20150108-4799968. pg 18. Life is a Story Problem LLC. January 8, 2015. Buy the book
  2. arbitrary. Last Accessed 6/12/2018. Buy the book

Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Arbitrary. 12/21/2018. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC.

Revision History

12/21/2018: Reviewed and corrected IPA pronunication. (McAdams, David E.)
1/4/2010: Added "References". (McAdams, David E.)
11/7/2009: Clarified wording of 'This means'. (McAdams, David E.)
7/7/2008: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

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