- a person chosen to render a decision in a dispute; judge; arbiter
- an official who administers the rules in certain team sports, as baseball or cricket
- Football an official who makes rulings regarding play along the line of scrimmage, esp. near the center of the field
Origin of umpireMiddle English oumpere, altered by faulty separation of a noumpire ; from noumpere (see adder, apron) ; from Middle French nomper, uneven, hence an uneven number, third person ; from non, not + per, even ; from Classical Latin par, par
to act as umpire in or of
to act as umpire
- Sports A person appointed to rule on plays, especially in baseball.
- A person appointed to settle a dispute that mediators have been unable to resolve; an arbitrator.
verbum·pired, um·pir·ing, um·pires
To act as referee for; rule or judge.
To be or act as a referee or an arbitrator.
Origin of umpireMiddle English (an) oumpere, (an) umpire, alteration of (a) noumpere, a mediator, from Old French nonper : non-, non- + per, equal, even, paired (from Latin par; see pair). Word History: Had it not been for the linguistic process known as false splitting or juncture loss, the angry, anguished cry heard at sports events, “Kill the ump,” could have been “Kill the nump.” In the case of umpire we can almost see false splitting in action by studying the Middle English Dictionary entry for noumpere, the Middle English ancestor of our word. Noumpere comes from Old French nonper, made up of non, “not,” and per, “equal.” As an impartial arbiter of a dispute between two people, the umpire is not equivalent to or a partisan of either of them. In Middle English the earliest recorded form is noumper (about 1350); the earliest form without an n is owmpere, recorded in a document dated 1440. How the n was lost can be seen if we compare the sequence a noounpier in a text written in 1426–1427 with the sequence an Oumper from a text written probably around 1475. In an Oumper, the n has become attached to the indefinite article, giving us an instead of a and, eventually, umpire instead of numpire. The same sort of false splitting has altered the forms of other words as well. Apron, for example, used to be napron, and adder used to be nadder. The reverse process has also occurred in the history of English: words that originally began with vowels acquired an n from a preceding indefinite article. Nickname comes from an obsolete phrase an eke name, “an additional name.” Newt comes from an eute. A variant of the Middle English word eute still survives as eft, “a newt.”
- (tennis) The official who presides over a tennis game sat on a high chair.
- (cricket) One of the two white-coated officials who preside over a cricket match.
- (baseball) One of usually 4 officials who preside over a baseball game.
- (American football) The official who stands behind the line on the defensive side.
- The umpire must keep on his toes as the play often occurs around him.
- (Australian rules football) A match official on the ground deciding and enforcing the rules during play. As of 2007 the Australian Football League uses 3, or in the past 2 or just 1. The other officials, the goal umpires and boundary umpires, are normally not called just umpires alone.
- (law) A person who arbitrates between contending parties
- In general, a referee moves around with the game, while an umpire stays (approximately) in one place.
(third-person singular simple present umpires, present participle umpiring, simple past and past participle umpired)
- (sports, intransitive) To act as an umpire in a game.
- To decide as an umpire; to arbitrate; to settle (a dispute, etc.).