umpire

noun
um·​pire | \ ˈəm-ˌpī(-ə)r How to pronounce umpire (audio) \

Definition of umpire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an official in a sport who rules on plays
2 : one having authority to decide finally a controversy or question between parties: such as
a : one appointed to decide between arbitrators who have disagreed
b : an impartial third party chosen to arbitrate disputes arising under the terms of a labor agreement
3 : a military officer who evaluates maneuvers

umpire

verb
umpired; umpiring

Definition of umpire (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to supervise or decide as umpire

intransitive verb

: to act as umpire

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History of Umpire

The word umpire was formed by metanalysis, or the changing of the division of words based upon how they sound together. The original word in English was noumpere, which was a borrowing of the French term nompere. The -pere of nompere was the French word for “equal,” a descendant of the Latin word par (“equal”) that is the root of words like peer, pair, and, of course, par. Noumpere became the form used in English for “one without equal” or “peerless,” but frequent references to a noumpere ended up becoming references to an oumpere, which became the modern word umpire. It’s ironic that the word for a person who literally calls balls and strikes is called by a name created by a linguistic foul.

Examples of umpire in a Sentence

Noun

usually acts as umpire in the all-too-frequent squabbles between the two other roommates

Verb

in our family disputes regarding the use of our home entertainment system are umpired by Dad

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That final, of course, was marred by controversy, as an argument between Serena Williams and the umpire, Carlos Ramos, ended in an ugly scene: Osaka in tears during the trophy ceremony as the crowd, firmly on Serena’s side, rained boos upon her. Louisa Thomas, Vogue, "The New Number One: Naomi Osaka Is Playing to Win," 21 Mar. 2019 The narrative of uncontrollable desire leads to victim blaming Women, by contrast, are expected to control their emotions at all times — witness the fallout when Serena Williams argued with an umpire during the US Open women’s final. Anna North, Vox, "Les Moonves and the myth of uncontrollable male desire," 12 Sep. 2018 But just hours after praising her new Ghandi-like ways, Serena childishly mocked an opponent by complaining to an umpire about an incident that happened nine years ago. Chris Chase, For The Win, "Serena v. Sharapova: The brief history of a burning non-rivalry," 4 June 2018 In the second set, the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, gave Ms. Williams a warning for being coached from the stands. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Serena Williams’s Time Out," 12 Sep. 2018 Following her change, a warning was issued to Alize from the chair umpire for unsportsmanlike conduct. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "The U.S. Open Amends "Sexist" Shirt Changing Rule After Social Media Criticized It," 30 Aug. 2018 Get to this huge argument with the umpire, could not take it anymore. Fox News, "Spoiler alert: Moderates beat back progressives in primaries," 9 Aug. 2018 Serena Williams is making headlines today after losing the US Open to Naomi Osaka, following an argument with the umpire, and having received three separate code violations throughout the match. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Serena Williams Lost the US Open After Fight with the Umpire Over 'Sexist' Penalties," 9 Sep. 2018 Spring-training games will provide umpires and teams a chance to see the rules in action. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "Dodgers trying to keep up with pace-of-play changes," 25 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While Arcia made a wild throw on the second after Machado clipped a knee with a hand, umpires called a double play following a video review. Ronald Blum, The Seattle Times, "Manny the Masher, Manny the Miscreant & Macho Manny," 23 Oct. 2018 For baseball wonks of a certain type, the robot umpire is the hyper-accurate, cold-blooded fantasy—a game unencumbered by umpiring mistakes of the human kind. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Will Baseball Surrender to the Robots?," 16 Aug. 2018 Ace news at Lacoste, which today named Louise Trotter as its new creative director, making the Brit the first woman to umpire the French sportswear institution in its 85-year history. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Lacoste Appoints Louise Trotter as Creative Director," 4 Oct. 2018 Tennis can sort out the gender, fairness and umpiring issues Ms. Williams raised during her courtside negotiation session. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Serena Williams’s Time Out," 12 Sep. 2018 His team was holding on by a thread to a one-run lead over the Twins, trying and failing to produce with runners in scoring position, when two umpiring decisions stopped any ounce of momentum the Royals had built. Maria Torres, kansascity, "'I don't know what's going on': Yost frustrated with umpires in Royals' loss to Twins," 9 July 2018 While the team’s translator Eugene Koo joined Oh and Russell Martin to go over pitches, the umpiring crew convened on the meeting and told the translator to return to the dugout. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Blue Jays coach throws gloves in post-ejection tirade over umpires stopping a translator," 8 July 2018 The smallest of those fans were the most boisterous, as Reading youth lacrosse players rushed to hug junior Joe Bean, a midfielder and faceoff specialist who umpires their games. Craig Larson, BostonGlobe.com, "The spring season got off to a soggy start, but had a brilliant finish," 28 June 2018 Plus, he’s been umpiring and training umpires in fast-pitch softball for the past 18 years. Kyle Stackpole, Howard County Times, "Howard County announces 2018 Community Sports Hall of Fame induction class," 7 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'umpire.' 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 umpire

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1609, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for umpire

Noun

Middle English oumpere, alteration (from misdivision of a noumpere) of noumpere, from Anglo-French nounpier, nompere, from nounpier, adjective, single, odd, from non- + per equal, from Latin par

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Dictionary Entries near umpire

ump

umph

umpirage

umpire

umpire assay

umpire-in-chief

umpireship

Statistics for umpire

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for umpire

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

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More Definitions for umpire

umpire

noun

English Language Learners Definition of umpire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who controls play and makes sure that players act according to the rules in a sports event (such as a baseball game or a cricket or tennis match)

umpire

verb

English Language Learners Definition of umpire (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be an umpire in a sports event (such as a baseball game)

umpire

noun
um·​pire | \ ˈəm-ˌpīr How to pronounce umpire (audio) \

Kids Definition of umpire

: an official in a sport (as baseball) who enforces the rules

umpire

noun
um·​pire

Legal Definition of umpire

: a person having authority to decide finally a controversy or question between parties: as
a : one appointed to decide between disagreeing arbitrators
b : an impartial third party chosen to arbitrate disputes arising under the terms of a labor agreement
c : one appointed to mediate between the appraisers of an insured and insurer in order to determine the amount of a loss

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More from Merriam-Webster on umpire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with umpire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for umpire

Spanish Central: Translation of umpire

Nglish: Translation of umpire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of umpire for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about umpire

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