arbitration

noun
ar·​bi·​tra·​tion | \ˌär-bə-ˈtrā-shən \

Definition of arbitration 

: the action of arbitrating especially : the hearing and determination of a disputed case by an arbiter a case that is in arbitration They agreed to settle the dispute by arbitration.

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Other Words from arbitration

arbitrational \ˌär-​bə-​ˈtrā-​shnəl, -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Are arbiter and arbitration arbitrary?

A large portion of the words we use today come from Latin roots. Many of these words retain a meaning that is closely related to their Latin ancestor, although sometimes they will drift a considerable distance from their roots (sinister, for instance, had the meaning of “on the left side” in Latin, but also meant “unlucky, inauspicious”). In some instances, a single Latin word will give rise to multiple words in English, some of which have strayed in meaning, and others which have not.

An example of this may be found in our word arbiter. We trace it to the Latin root with the same spelling, arbiter, meaning “eyewitness, onlooker, person appointed to settle a dispute.” A number of English words stem from the Latin arbiter, many of which have to do with judging or being a judge. An arbiter is a judge, and arbitration is the act of judging, or serving as an arbiter. Yet the most common meaning of arbitrary is “existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will,” which seems to be quite a bit different in meaning from the other two words. Arbitrary does indeed come from the same Latin root, and its oldest meaning in English was “depending on choice or discretion particularly regarding the decision of a judge or a tribunal.” But over time it developed additional senses that are somewhat removed from that initial meaning.

Examples of arbitration in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Worse still, in the world of arbitration, there is no possibility of class-action claims. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Thousands of Google employees slam execs’ response to sexual misconduct," 1 Nov. 2018 In addition, all mention of mandatory arbitration has also been removed. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "SoundCloud pulls controversial contract terms after Verge report," 29 Oct. 2018 Wolves took it to the court of arbitration on the grounds of freedom of contract. SI.com, "How Jeff Shi and Fosun International Transformed Wolverhampton Wanderers Into a Premier League Side," 12 July 2018 In a turnaround from last summer’s contentious negotiations, the Detroit Red Wings and Andreas Athanasiou avoided even the threat of arbitration. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings agree to contract with RFA Andreas Athanasiou," 5 July 2018 Even if lefty Patrick Corbin departs as a free agent, that wouldn’t leave much room to spend on Pollock, who is making $7.75 million this year in his final season of arbitration. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks news: Is A.J. Pollock pricing himself out of Arizona?," 2 May 2018 In recent years, she's fought against arbitration policies that affect workers and women in particular, as well as Trump's travel ban on majority Muslim countries. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Watch Ruth Bader Ginsburg Get Sworn in to the Supreme Court on Her 25th Anniversary," 10 Aug. 2018 An obscure Chinese arbitration panel, originally created to hear disputes linked to the Belt and Road Initiative, was rebranded in 2022 as the Global Infrastructure Tribunal. The Economist, "Xi’s world order: July 2024," 7 July 2018 MATT SZCZUR Position: Outfielder 2018 Opening Day age: 28 Bats/throws: R/R Height/weight: 6-foot / 200 pounds Contract status: Will make $950,000 in 2018; will be arbitration-eligible in 2019 and a free agent in 2022 Key stats: .226 avg. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres roster review: Matt Szczur," 22 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arbitration.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arbitration

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arbitration

Middle English arbitracioun, borrowed from Anglo-French arbitracion, borrowed from Latin arbitrātiōn-, arbitrātiō, from arbitrārī "to consider, judge, arbitrate" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

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14 Dec 2018

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The first known use of arbitration was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for arbitration

arbitration

noun

Financial Definition of arbitration

What It Is

Arbitration is a process in which impartial parties (arbitrators) help disagreeing parties resolve a dispute. Contracts, particularly financial ones, with disputes often go to arbitration.

How It Works

In the financial world, arbitration sometimes begins with filing a statement of claim with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The claim describes who is involved, the nature of the problem, evidence related to the dispute, and the amount of the claim. (The arbitration process is simplified for claims below $25,000 and often does not require in-person meetings.)

Once the arbitration panel is assembled and the parties involved formally agree to abide by the panel's decision, the claimant pays for the arbitration fees and the arbitration begins. Arbitrators are usually very knowledgeable in the areas in which they arbitrate. It can take well over a year to complete the process, from filing to decision.

Why It Matters

The idea behind arbitration is to avoid long and expensive litigation. The process is generally cheaper than litigation, and it allows individuals to represent themselves more easily (though they may have legal representation if they choose).

However, financial contracts including those related to brokerage accounts, credit cards, loans, some utility contracts, etc. often contain mandatory arbitration clauses whereby the arbitration board is populated with members of an association to which the counterparty belongs. Thus, bias toward one of the parties can be a problem. Also, it is very difficult to appeal an arbitration decision (as opposed to court decisions, which are appealed all the time).

Source: Investing Answers

arbitration

noun

English Language Learners Definition of arbitration

: a process of settling an argument or disagreement in which the people or groups on both sides present their opinions and ideas to a third person or group

arbitration

noun
ar·​bi·​tra·​tion | \ˌär-bə-ˈtrā-shən \

Kids Definition of arbitration

: the settling of a disagreement in which both sides present their arguments to a third person or group for decision

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arbitration

noun
ar·​bi·​tra·​tion | \ˌär-bə-ˈtrā-shən \

Legal Definition of arbitration 

: the process of resolving a dispute (as between labor and management) or a grievance outside of the court system by presenting it to an impartial third party or panel for a decision that may or may not be binding — compare mediation

final offer arbitration

: interest arbitration in which the arbitrator must accept or reject the final offer of any party and may not decide to compromise

grievance arbitration

: arbitration of a dispute over something in an existing collective bargaining agreement

called also rights arbitration

— compare interest arbitration in this entry

interest arbitration

: arbitration of a dispute over the provisions to be entered in a new contract — compare grievance arbitration in this entry

rights arbitration

: grievance arbitration in this entry

Other Words from arbitration

arbitrational \ˌär-​bə-​ˈtrā-​shə-​nəl \ adjective

History and Etymology for arbitration

Latin arbitratio, from arbitrari to judge, arbitrate, from arbiter onlooker, arbitrator

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More from Merriam-Webster on arbitration

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with arbitration

Spanish Central: Translation of arbitration

Nglish: Translation of arbitration for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arbitration for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about arbitration

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