Definition of arbiter in English:



  • 1A person who settles a dispute or has ultimate authority in a matter.

    ‘the Secretary of State is the final arbiter’
    • ‘To this day, parliament and the government are its ultimate arbiters - enduring symbol of the fact that ‘we’ have the final say in how we are ruled.’
    • ‘It is the ultimate arbiter on the meaning of the treaty and the laws passed under it.’
    • ‘Most countries, however, have adopted it as the main arbiter for trade disputes that would stem from the single market.’
    • ‘But in all of this, we should focus on who should be the real arbiters in these matters, and for me, it's the public; if they choose to have their news delivered by that journalist, then that is the end of the matter.’
    • ‘And she goes on to say, ‘Courts are to be arbiters of disputes, not policymakers.’’
    • ‘The title of chief was largely a matter of prestige, as authority was exercised by the consensus of those of high status, who would act as arbiters in dispute resolution.’
    • ‘The courts are the ultimate arbiters of evidence, and this case is now back in the hands of the courts.’
    • ‘Good judges are not partisans, but fair arbiters of disputes.’
    • ‘The Australian community would be the ultimate arbiter.’
    • ‘Technically, the ultimate arbiters of what constitutes covert action are the House and Senate intelligence committees, which exert a de facto veto through their control of the intelligence budget.’
    • ‘The court thus sidestepped the critical issue of whether the Constitution's commerce clause gave the federal government the authority to act as national arbiters of morality.’
    • ‘The Cabinet would still make decisions, with the full council being the ultimate arbiter.’
    • ‘By tradition, the elderly have been regarded as repositories of wisdom and experience who are the unquestioned arbiters of a family dispute.’
    • ‘The government cannot be an arbiter in any religious matter.’
    • ‘By the mid-fourteenth century, the theologians of Paris were generally regarded as the arbiters of doctrinal authority, and they were consulted as such by popes and bishops alike.’
    • ‘Modernists are theologically more individualistic than the religiously orthodox in that they see individuals, not a deity, as responsible for their fates and as the ultimate moral arbiters.’
    • ‘Apart from the Electoral Act, courts are the arbiters to deal with matters to do with electoral issues.’
    • ‘The rule stipulates the fourth official (linesman in domestic games) but isn't the referee the final arbiter?’
    • ‘At the Olympic Games, the Court of Arbitration for Sport is the final arbiter on all disputes arising during the Games.’
    • ‘It is the final arbiter in disputes about the interpretation of the EU Treaties, or secondary legislation based on the Treaties.’
    judge, authority, determiner, controller, director, governor, master, expert, pundit, critic
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    1. 1.1 A person whose views or actions have influence in a particular sphere.
      ‘an arbiter of taste’
      • ‘Thus rather strangely, the potential arbiter of morality is always the individual, but only when seen in his entire complexity.’
      • ‘Fans consider her the final arbiter on matters ranging from choosing table settings to winning ways with leftovers.’
      • ‘His reputation as an arbiter of taste suffered after an ill-considered attack on the quality of the Elgin Marbles in 1816.’
      • ‘His background gives no indication that he might one day become an arbiter of cool.’
      • ‘Beau Brummell, the prince's friend, was the arbiter of elegance.’
      • ‘This was sent to David Garrick, an influential arbiter of polite literary taste in London.’
      • ‘Hundreds of websites and petitions have been set up across the US supporting this arbiter of public taste.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, too, they direct the question at an imaginary West that serves as stage, audience, and arbiter of taste, all in one.’
      • ‘Examine any classic photograph of the original arbiter of style in golf, Ben Hogan, and notice the cuffs on his slacks.’
      • ‘Not that I'm setting myself up as an arbiter of good taste or reasonableness.’
      • ‘Philostratus ranks as something of an arbiter of sophistic tastes and values; he is also an index of sophistic shortcomings.’
      • ‘Mind you, I'm not so sure that she should be regarded as much of an arbiter of taste.’
      • ‘Still, McKinley pointed out that family is not necessarily the sole arbiter of racial identity.’
      • ‘On the subject of language, a poet is the ultimate arbiter, the judge, the jury and the courtroom cat.’
      • ‘In this manner, the Panopticon reinforces its role as arbiter of public taste.’
      • ‘His early investment in Wired Magazine, the leading arbiter of the digital revolution at that time, gave him a front row seat to the third culture revolution.’
      judge, authority, determiner, controller, director, governor, master, expert, pundit, critic
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin, ‘judge, supreme ruler’.