**Ar"bi*tra*ry** (#), a. [L. *arbitrarius*, fr. *arbiter*: cf. F. *arbitraire*. See Arbiter.]

**1.**

Depending on will or discretion; not governed by any fixed rules; as, an **arbitrary** decision; an **arbitrary** punishment.

It was wholly **arbitrary** in them to do so.
*Jer. Taylor.*

Rank pretends to fix the value of every one, and is the most **arbitrary** of all things.
*Landor.*

**2.**

Exercised according to one's own will or caprice, and therefore conveying a notion of a tendency to abuse the possession of power.

**Arbitrary** power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused licentiousness.
*Washington.*

**3.**

Despotic; absolute in power; bound by no law; harsh and unforbearing; tyrannical; as, an **arbitrary** prince or government.

*Dryden.*

Arbitrary constant, Arbitrary function Math., a quantity of function that is introduced into the solution of a problem, and to which any value or form may at will be given, so that the solution may be made to meet special requirements. -- Arbitrary quantity Math., one to which any value can be assigned at pleasure.

© Webster 1913.