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ombudsman

[om-buh dz-muh n, -man, -boo dz-, awm-, om-boo dz-muh n, -man, awm-] /ˈɒm bədz mən, -ˌmæn, -bʊdz-, ˈɔm-, ɒmˈbʊdz mən, -ˌmæn, ɔm-/
noun, plural ombudsmen
[om-buh dz-muh n, -men, -boo dz-, awm-, om-boo dz-muh n, -men, awm-] /ˈɒm bədz mən, -ˌmɛn, -bʊdz-, ˈɔm-, ɒmˈbʊdz mən, -ˌmɛn, ɔm-/ (Show IPA)
1.
a government official who hears and investigates complaints by private citizens against other officials or government agencies.
2.
a person who investigates and attempts to resolve complaints and problems, as between employees and an employer or between students and a university.
Origin
1910-1915
1910-15; < Swedish: legal representative, equivalent to ombud agent, attorney + -s ’s1 + -man -man
Usage note
See -man.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for ombudsmen
  • ombudsmen advocate for fair process, without taking sides.
British Dictionary definitions for ombudsmen

ombudsman

/ˈɒmbʊdzmən/
noun (pl) -men
1.
a commissioner who acts as independent referee between individual citizens and their government or its administration
2.
(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 servants Formal names Commissioner for Local Administration, Health Service Commissioner, Parliamentary Commissioner See also Financial Ombudsman
Word Origin
C20: from Swedish: commissioner
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 ombudsmen

ombudsman

n.

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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ombudsmen in Culture
ombudsman [(om-buhdz-muhn, om-boodz-muhn)]

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.

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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