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 In July 2016, an international arbitration tribunal invalidated China’s vast historical claims to the waters based on UNCLOS. Washington Post, "ASEAN takes position vs China’s vast historical sea claims," 27 June 2020 The arbitration process, which must be conducted in the Netherlands where Uber has its international headquarters, costs about C$19,000 ($14,500). NBC News, "Canada's top court rules in favor of Uber driver in gig economy case," 26 June 2020 There was unanimous support for the arbitration bill, which Senators passed twice in previous sessions, while the cell phone fee faced opposition from Republicans and two Democrats. oregonlive, "Oregon lawmakers enter third and likely final day of special session," 26 June 2020 Generally, guests need to go through arbitration – a small-claims-court-style proceeding, usually done over phone or email –and explain what went wrong. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "'Tip of the iceberg': Airbnb, Vrbo guests fighting for refunds after coronavirus cancellations," 25 June 2020 If McManus hands down disciplinary action, officers can overturn that discipline through binding arbitration. Joshua Fechter, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio City Council grapples with reforming police discipline, budget in wake of George Floyd protests," 10 June 2020 Last year, Duterte said he had been offered a controlling stake in a joint energy deal by Chinese President Xi Jinping in exchange for ignoring an international arbitration in Manila's favor on the South China Sea. Brad Lendon, CNN, "Philippines says it won't end US military access agreement amid South China Sea tensions," 3 June 2020 Players, who agreed not to sue for full salaries if there was no season, will receive a full year’s service time, which is used to determine when players reach free agency and arbitration. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "MLB owners-players appear to end negotiations. A timeline of how baseball ended up here.," 14 June 2020 The disciplinary arbitration process would be changed as well. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, "Ohio House GOP unveils police-reform bill that includes more training, pay raises for officers," 11 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for arbitration

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for arbitration

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Arbitration.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arbitration. Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for arbitration

arbitration

noun
How to pronounce arbitration (audio)

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

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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