Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One chosen or appointed to judge or decide a disputed issue; an arbitrator.
  • n. One who has the power to judge or ordain at will: an arbiter of fashion. See Synonyms at judge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person appointed, or chosen, by parties to determine a controversy between them; an arbitrator.
  • n. A person or object having the power of judging and determining, or ordaining, without control; one whose power of deciding and governing is not limited.
  • v. To act as arbiter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A person appointed, or chosen, by parties to determine a controversy between them.
  • n. Any person who has the power of judging and determining, or ordaining, without control; one whose power of deciding and governing is not limited.
  • transitive v. To act as arbiter between.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To act as arbiter between; judge.
  • n. A person chosen by the parties in a controversy to decide their differences; one who decides points at issue; an arbitrator; a referee; an umpire.
  • n. In a general sense, a person who has the power of judging and determining absolutely according to his own pleasure; one whose power of deciding and governing is not limited; one who has a matter under his sole authority for adjudication.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone chosen to judge and decide a disputed issue
  • n. someone with the power to settle matters at will

Etymologies

Middle English arbitre, from Old French, from Latin arbiter, of Phoenician origin; see ʿrb in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French arbitre, from Latin arbiter ("a witness, judge, literally one who goes to see"), from ar- for ad- ("to") + betere ("to come"). (Wiktionary)

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