arbitration

noun
ar·​bi·​tra·​tion | \ ˌär-bə-ˈtrā-shən How to pronounce arbitration (audio) \

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 How to pronounce arbitrational (audio) , -​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

The claims headed to arbitration — which will keep proceedings out of public view — include allegations of whistleblower retaliation and unfair business practices. Nathan Fenno, Los Angeles Times, "Part of lawsuit by ex-USC football assistant headed to arbitration," 5 Aug. 2019 Damore filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board and a class action lawsuit over his firing, but the NLRB dismissed his complaint and Damore moved his legal claim to private arbitration. Shirin Ghaffary, Vox, "Political tension at Google is only getting worse," 2 Aug. 2019 The protections, proposed by then-President Barack Obama, required lenders to cap interest rates at 36% annually and banned them from requiring consumers to submit their disputes to arbitration. Madeleine Ngo, Dallas News, "Texas GOP congressman disputes conflict of interest in vote on rules for military members' loans," 29 July 2019 The agreement states disputes will go to arbitration before an independent hearing officer. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Hollendorfer, trainers group file court complaint against Del Mar," 17 July 2019 At least five other ex-USAA planners who alleged they also were defamed by USAA are headed to arbitration either later this year or next year. Patrick Danner, ExpressNews.com, "Report: USAA may sell wealth-management business to Charles Schwab," 15 July 2019 The system in which players earn the league minimum for three years or so, then go to salary arbitration for another three, then finally get life-changing money in free agency—that system no longer works. Stephanie Apstein, SI.com, "Even Baseball's Best Players Are Hopelessly Overmatched in CBA Negotiations," 10 July 2019 The lawsuit was scheduled to go to arbitration after the tournament, but the court of public opinion rendered an emphatic verdict Sunday: Pay them. Helene Elliott, latimes.com, "USWNT once again shines on biggest stage at Women’s World Cup," 7 July 2019 The Browns took the company to private arbitration earlier this year after the company failed to make any payments, according to court records. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Browns sponsorship dispute with New York beverage company lands in local court," 25 June 2019

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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Statistics for arbitration

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for arbitration

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 How to pronounce arbitration (audio) \

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 How to pronounce arbitration (audio) \

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 How to pronounce arbitrational (audio) \ 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

Comments on arbitration

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