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

  • n. Sports A person appointed to rule on plays, especially in baseball.
  • n. A person appointed to settle a dispute that mediators have been unable to resolve; an arbitrator. See Synonyms at judge.
  • transitive v. To act as referee for; rule or judge.
  • intransitive v. To be or act as a referee or an arbitrator.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The official who presides over a tennis game sat on a high chair.
  • n. One of the two white-coated officials who preside over a cricket match.
  • n. One of usually 4 officials who preside over a baseball game.
  • n. The official who stands behind the line on the defensive side.
  • n. A match official on the ground deciding and enforcing the rules during play. As of 2007 the Australian Football League uses 3, or in the past 2 or just 1. The other officials, the goal umpires and boundary umpires, are normally not called just umpires alone.
  • n. A person who arbitrates between contending parties
  • v. To act as an umpire in a game.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A person to whose sole decision a controversy or question between parties is referred; especially, one chosen to see that the rules of a game, as cricket, baseball, or the like, are strictly observed.
  • n. A third person, who is to decide a controversy or question submitted to arbitrators in case of their disagreement.
  • intransitive v. To act as umpire or arbitrator.
  • transitive v. To decide as umpire; to arbitrate; to settle, as a dispute.
  • transitive v. To perform the duties of umpire in or for.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To decide as umpire; settle, as a dispute. Specifically To enforce the rules of (a game), and decide disputed points: as, to umpire a game of baseball.
  • To act as umpire.
  • n. A person to whose sole decision a controversy or question between parties is referred; one agreed upon as a judge, arbiter, or referee in case of conflict of opinions; specifically, a person selected to see that the rules of a game, as cricket or base-ball, are enforced, and to decide disputed or debatable points.
  • n. In law, a third person called in to decide a controversy or question submitted to arbitrators when the arbitrators do not agree in opinion.

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

  • v. be a referee or umpire in a sports competition
  • n. an official at a baseball game
  • n. someone chosen to judge and decide a disputed issue


Middle English (an) oumpere, (an) umpire, alteration of (a) noumpere, a mediator, from Old French nonper : non-, non- + per, equal, even, paired (from Latin pār; see pair).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From a Middle English misconstruction of noumpere, from Old French nonper ("odd number, not even (as a tie-breaking arbitrator)"), from non ("not") + per ("equal"), from Latin par ("equal") (Wiktionary)



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  • Really? I thought I'd hit that one out of the park.

    March 31, 2009

  • Your thought processes are your own, but I think the 90% claim is in foul territory sean.

    March 30, 2009

  • Because I would say that at least 90% of the usages of this word are in the context of baseball. At least, if you say the word umpire to me, I immediately think baseball.

    March 30, 2009

  • Hang on: why is WeirdNet #1 specifically about baseball, when #2 quite adequately covers sports in general?

    March 25, 2009

  • This variety of vampire is rumoured to exist, but nothing about it is known for certain.

    March 25, 2009