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.