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August 15, 2022

Haphazard / adjective / hap·​haz·​ard

Have you ever been in a situation where everything seems to be chaotic and not going according to any sort of plan? We describe haphazard things as lacking in order, direction, or planning.

This negative description applies where we can see there has been no planning or foresight to assure the success of any undertaking.

We can liken the word haphazard to words with similar meanings, like aimless or arbitrary. The words methodical and orderly depict the opposite meaning of haphazard.

In a Sentence

They fired her for how she haphazardly managed the front office, which was always running out of supplies, and the phones consistently went unanswered.

His haphazard management style caused his employees to go on strike and refuse to work for him again until they got higher wages and better treatment.

The teenagers threw the silverware into the kitchen flatware drawer in such a haphazard fashion that their mother and father had difficulty finding it at dinner time.


Etymologists believe haphazard initially entered our language as a noun in the early 1500s. In 1576, we started using haphazard as an adjective instead. We derived the word haphazard from a combination of English, Old Norse, and Arabic sources, creating a definition of "unexpected changes or happenings." In the 17th century, we started using haphazard to describe disorderly situations and behaviors.


Erratic, Disorderly


Methodical, Orderly


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