a person selected to rule on the plays in a game.
one selected to settle disputes about the application of settled rules or usages; a person agreed on by disputing parties to arbitrate their differences.

verb (used with object), um·pired, um·pir·ing.

to act as umpire in (a game).
to decide or settle (a controversy, dispute, or the like) as umpire; arbitrate.

verb (used without object), um·pired, um·pir·ing.

to act as umpire.

Origin of umpire

1350–1400; Middle English umpere, variant of noumpere (a noumpere taken as an oumpere; cf. adder1, apron) < Old French nomper, nonper arbiter, i.e., one not equal. See non-, peer1
Related formsun·um·pired, adjective
Can be confusedempire umpire

Synonyms for umpire Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for umpire

Contemporary Examples of umpire

Historical Examples of umpire

British Dictionary definitions for umpire



an official who rules on the playing of a game, as in cricket or baseball
a person who rules on or judges disputes between contesting parties


to act as umpire in (a game, dispute, or controversy)
Derived Formsumpireship or umpirage, noun

Word Origin for umpire

C15: by mistaken division from a noumpere, from Old French nomper not one of a pair, from nom-, non- not + per equal, peer 1
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

Word Origin and History for umpire

c.1400, noumper, from Old French nonper "odd number, not even," in reference to a third person to arbitrate between two, from non "not" + per "equal," from Latin par. Initial -n- lost by mid-15c. due to faulty separation of a noumpere, heard as an oumpere. Originally legal, the gaming sense first recorded 1714 (in wrestling).


c.1600, from umpire (n.). Related: Umpired; umpiring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper