- a government official who hears and investigates complaints by private citizens against other officials or government agencies.
- a person who investigates and attempts to resolve complaints and problems, as between employees and an employer or between students and a university.
Origin of ombudsman
Related Words for ombudsmanreferee, court, expert, justice, authority, critic, inspector, umpire, moderator, negotiator, peacemaker, interpreter, bench, intermediary, intercessor, judiciary, arbiter, warden, magistrate, honor
Examples from the Web for ombudsman
Contemporary Examples of ombudsman
He not only favors New Jersey's civil-unions law, but argued that it should be backed with an ombudsman to enforce it.A Thinner Chris Christie Still Faces Big Political Challenges
May 10, 2013
“If you look at the new media players, not one of them has an ombudsman,” she notes.Washington Post’s Katharine Weymouth Offers the ‘Story Behind the Story’
March 10, 2013
The Post's ombudsman rightly defended his paper's judgement.Shooting Gaza
November 27, 2012
Readers who detected it got a chilling confirmation of their suspicions in the December 13 column by Ombudsman Clark Hoyt.Why Does The New York Times Love Hamas?
January 6, 2009
- a commissioner who acts as independent referee between individual citizens and their government or its administration
- (in Britain) an official, without power of sanction or mechanism of appeal, who investigates complaints of maladministration by members of the public against national or local government or its servantsFormal names: Commissioner for Local Administration, Health Service Commissioner, Parliamentary Commissioner See also Financial Ombudsman
Word Origin for ombudsman
1959, from Swedish ombudsman, literally "commission man" (specifically in reference to the office of justitieombudsmannen, which hears and investigates complaints by individuals against abuses of the state); cognate with Old Norse umboðsmaðr, from umboð "commission" (from um- "around," see ambi-, + boð "command," see bid (v.)) + maðr "man" (see man (n.)).
An official appointed by a government or other organization to investigate complaints against people in authority. This position is designed to give those with less power — the “little people” — a voice in the operation of large organizations.