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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.
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)
1. See 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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for arbitration
  • And they turn to arbitration or private dispute-resolution mechanisms instead of the ineffective public courts.
  • The two sides agreed this week to send the dispute to arbitration.
  • The union now wants the court to temporarily halt the cuts and order arbitration of its demands.
  • The justice ministry worries that the rise in private arbitration means the legal system is being circumvented.
  • For-profit colleges increasingly use arbitration agreements to prevent lawsuits.
  • Any stalled contract negotiations will automatically go to third party binding arbitration.
  • His union is seeking to get his dismissal overturned by an arbitration panel.
  • Confidentiality is of vital importance to arbitration.
  • The union officials and faculty members then went to the local arbitration board.
  • He signed a $3.2 million, one-year deal in January, avoiding arbitration.
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 American Heritage® 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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