I want a word that means "Selected from the pool/set" - randomness is implied but not necessary. What is a good word for this?

It would be used in a sentence like:

The parameter is selected from the set and used in the experiment.

I want one phrase for selected from the set so that it can be used to form a terminology.

  • Please supply a sentence in which you will use this word to better enable us to select the correct word for the job. How to Ask Apr 23, 2012 at 9:59
  • Either one parameter is selected, or multiple parameters are selected. Either way, "selected at random" (or "randomly selected") should work fine.
    – J.R.
    Apr 23, 2012 at 10:10
  • Is there a single adjective that signifies "randomly selected"? I really wanted just one word. I was thinking like "Drawn" - but wasn't looking very clear. Is there some other word? Apr 23, 2012 at 10:15
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    Random can be used as an adjective ("Pick 2 random numbers," e.g.), but you have been so vague in your example that I don't have enough context to recommend for or against such use (which is also why I've voted to close).
    – J.R.
    Apr 23, 2012 at 10:46
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    @DipanMehta: When talking math in words, being precise is more important than being succinct with words. The sentence you have provided is clear enough if you specify randomness: The parameter is chosen randomly from the set and used in the experiment.
    – Bravo
    Apr 23, 2012 at 13:37

4 Answers 4


You could say:

A parameter is drawn and used in the experiment.

The definition for this use of draw is "to hold a drawing, lottery, or the like: to draw for prizes." The connotation is that a drawing is a random picking of the "winner." I think I would change the article from The (definite article) to A (indefinite article), though. Also, it needs to be clear from what preceded this sentence that there was a set from which this particular parameter was drawn.


We select an arbitrary parameter from the set.

  • -1: There is a big difference in math between arbitrary and random and the OP is only talking about picking a random parameter.
    – Bravo
    Apr 23, 2012 at 12:45
  • @Shyam, OP says "randomness is implied but not necessary" so latter half of your comment is incorrect. Apr 23, 2012 at 13:01
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    @jwpat7: Well, the title says random. Moreover I can tell apart necessity and sufficiency, but I do not understand what the OP means by implied but not necessary. If you pick a ball from a bottle of balls and if it is provided that all balls are equally likely to be picked, then you are picking randomly (according to a uniform dist.) and not arbitrarily... Not sure if the OP means this only.
    – Bravo
    Apr 23, 2012 at 13:06
  • arbitrary # random.
    – Kris
    Apr 23, 2012 at 13:51
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    Arbitrary usually means "any" in math, meaning the result is the same in any case. Random refers to a type of selection. The words are not synonymous. In this case, the type of selection could be random or not, so it is arbitrary. Apr 23, 2012 at 14:59

"random" is the appropriate and usual term.

If you must use another, blind can be an alternative, which is also technically recognized and applied, as in blind study.

  • Tx @jwpat7 - done.
    – Kris
    Apr 23, 2012 at 13:13
  • Wasn't a verb requested? Can you show how you would use your suggested words to complete the OP's sample sentence? In my field a blind study means (in the simplest terms) the researcher recording the observations does not know which subjects were placed (by a different researcher) in the experimental group and which in the control group. I'm not sure how you are using the term blind.
    – JLG
    Apr 23, 2012 at 13:23
  • extract (v.) should do. However, you can see that I was suggesting a (n.) rather. From title down to last sentence, the OP is not consistent in his 'required phrase'. btw you're right about 'blind'.
    – Kris
    Apr 23, 2012 at 13:49
  • "selected from the set" can be noun phrase, qualifier, or verb pt, depending on use. right?
    – Kris
    Apr 23, 2012 at 13:55
  • Blind is just right - but since i wanted to use it in some naming convention, it had other connotations which i wanted to avoid Apr 24, 2012 at 5:27

It seems to me that the only problem with the original "selected from the set" is that it might imply a non-random selection process to some people. "Picked from the set" would be an improvement. Strictly speaking, neither "selected" nor "picked" tells you if the process was random or not, but the latter probably makes the reader more inclined to think of randomness than the former, which I think is what's being asked for.

"Drawn" definitely doesn't work because that says the selection process is random, which isn't what the OP wanted. Anything with "random" in it has the same problem.

I quite like "arbitrary" but I think it suffers a bit from the same problem. To my ear it works better if you use it to describe the selection process rather than the parameter - "a parameter arbitrarily selected from the set" rather than "an arbitrary parameter".

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