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

Home plate umpire Brian O'Nora recommended the Orioles come check him. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles lose three to injury Wednesday as DJ Stewart, Pedro Severino, Jonathan Villar leave game," 6 June 2019 As noted by BuzzFeed News, chair umpire Carlos Ramos alleged that Serena was receiving coaching during the game. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Naomi Osaka Wins Her First Grand Slam Title," 9 Sep. 2018 In addition to Jump Rope for Heart, Tapp worked as an umpire and referee for the Oakfield Recreation department. Kenny Levine, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Oakfield’s Tapp committed to giving back," 19 Mar. 2018 The ruling was reversed after the umpires met and said Benintendi was out of the baseline, deleting his hit. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Madeira's Andrew Benintendi falls short in All-Star Final Vote," 11 July 2018 As the umpires prevented the translator from doing his job, Blue Jays first base coach Tim Leiper was having none of that. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Blue Jays coach throws gloves in post-ejection tirade over umpires stopping a translator," 8 July 2018 Brad Miller then singled with two outs in the sixth just before the umpires called for the tarp due to heavy rains and lightning in the area. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Reds 8, Brewers 2: Freddy Peralta struggles early, gets little help from the offense," 1 July 2018 The umpires scheduled to work the game tried to drive to the stadium, but their car stalled in high water. Matt Levin, Houston Chronicle, "Only 'rainout' in Astrodome history occurred today in 1976," 15 June 2018 Alomar, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was called out on strikes during a 1996 game and became enraged at umpire John Hirschbeck. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Brad Marchand's licking joins Mike Tyson's biting, Roberto Alomar's spitting on bizarre list," 7 May 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

11 Jun 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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