Definition of arbiter in English:



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

    ‘the military acted as arbiter of conflicts between political groups’
    • ‘Most countries, however, have adopted it as the main arbiter for trade disputes that would stem from the single market.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Apart from the Electoral Act, courts are the arbiters to deal with matters to do with electoral issues.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The courts are the ultimate arbiters of evidence, and this case is now back in the hands of the courts.’
    • ‘The Australian community would be the ultimate arbiter.’
    • ‘It is the ultimate arbiter on the meaning of the treaty and the laws passed under it.’
    • ‘Good judges are not partisans, but fair arbiters of disputes.’
    • ‘The Cabinet would still make decisions, with the full council being 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.’
    • ‘By tradition, the elderly have been regarded as repositories of wisdom and experience who are the unquestioned arbiters of a family dispute.’
    • ‘It is the final arbiter in disputes about the interpretation of the EU Treaties, or secondary legislation based on the Treaties.’
    • ‘The government cannot be an arbiter in any religious matter.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    judge, authority, determiner, controller, director, governor, master, expert, pundit, critic
    adjudicator, arbitrator, judge, umpire, referee, assistant referee, linesman, line judge
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    1. 1.1 A person whose views or actions have great influence over trends in social behavior.
      ‘an arbiter of taste’
      • ‘Thus rather strangely, the potential arbiter of morality is always the individual, but only when seen in his entire complexity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In this manner, the Panopticon reinforces its role as arbiter of public taste.’
      • ‘Mind you, I'm not so sure that she should be regarded as much of an arbiter of taste.’
      • ‘On the subject of language, a poet is the ultimate arbiter, the judge, the jury and the courtroom cat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Still, McKinley pointed out that family is not necessarily the sole arbiter of racial identity.’
      • ‘This was sent to David Garrick, an influential arbiter of polite literary taste in London.’
      • ‘His reputation as an arbiter of taste suffered after an ill-considered attack on the quality of the Elgin Marbles in 1816.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, too, they direct the question at an imaginary West that serves as stage, audience, and arbiter of taste, all in one.’
      • ‘Beau Brummell, the prince's friend, was the arbiter of elegance.’
      • ‘Fans consider her the final arbiter on matters ranging from choosing table settings to winning ways with leftovers.’
      • ‘Hundreds of websites and petitions have been set up across the US supporting this arbiter of public taste.’
      • ‘His background gives no indication that he might one day become an arbiter of cool.’
      judge, authority, determiner, controller, director, governor, master, expert, pundit, critic
      View synonyms


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