[ uhm-pahyuhr ]
/ ˈʌm paɪər /


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 forms

un·um·pired, adjective

Can be confused

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

Examples from the Web for umpire

British Dictionary definitions for umpire


/ (ˈʌmpaɪə) /


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 Forms

umpireship 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