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[ahr-bi-trey-shuh n] /ˌɑr bɪˈtreɪ ʃən/
the hearing and determining of a dispute or the settling of differences between parties by a person or persons chosen or agreed to by them:
Rather than risk a long strike, the union and management agreed to arbitration.
International Law. the application of judicial methods to the settlement of international disputes.
Origin of arbitration
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin arbitrātiōn- (stem of arbitrātiō), equivalent to arbitrāt(us) (see arbitrate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
arbitrational, adjective
arbitrationist, noun
proarbitration, adjective
proarbitrationist, noun, adjective
rearbitration, noun
Can be confused
arbitration, mediation (see synonym study at mediation)

Arbitration, The

a comedy (c300 b.c.) by Menander, extant only as a fragment. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for arbitration
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Greek Government had put no impediment in the way of arbitration.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • With such men there could be no arbitration, and in fact there was no need.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • These decisions are given by, what may be called, a court of arbitration and a court of appeal.

    Bremen Cotton Exchange Andreas Wilhelm Cramer
  • It is not founded on the principle of arbitration or compulsion.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
  • It is therefore basically not a plan of arbitration, nor is it an industrial court.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
British Dictionary definitions for arbitration


(law) the hearing and determination of a dispute, esp an industrial dispute, by an impartial referee selected or agreed upon by the parties concerned
(international law) the procedure laid down for the settlement of international disputes
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for arbitration

late 14c., "absolute decision," from Old French arbitracion, from Latin arbitrationem (nominative arbitratio) "judgment, will," noun of action from past participle stem of arbitrari "to be of an opinion, give a decision," from arbiter (see arbiter). Meaning "settlement of a dispute by a third party" is from 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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arbitration in Culture

arbitration definition

The settling of disputes (especially labor disputes) between two parties by an impartial third party, whose decision the contending parties agree to accept. Arbitration is often used to resolve conflict diplomatically to prevent a more serious confrontation.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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