Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday September 5, 2001
arbiter \AR-buh-tuhr\ , noun:
1. A person appointed or chosen to judge or decide a dispute.
2. Any person who has the power of judging and determining.
There was no shortage of such socially knowing, good-natured, and adaptable folk among the charter members of the Institute, especially in its department of literature, where a sizable number were not really literary practitioners but instead high-quality magazine editors, professors, and other well-settled arbiters of taste.
-- John Updike (Editor), A Century of Arts & Letters
Justin had a way of making people want to do things for him; of all the kids he had made himself the arbiter of cool.
-- Rebecca Chace, Capture the Flag
Arbiter is from Latin arbiter, "a witness, a spectator," hence "a judge of any matter."