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From a Middle English rebracketing of noumpere, from Old French nonper (odd number, not even (as a tie-breaking arbitrator)), from non (not) + per (equal), from Latin par (equal)

For other similar cases of incorrect division, see also Category:English rebracketings.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈʌm.paɪ.ə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪə(ɹ)


umpire (plural umpires)

  1. (tennis) The official who presides over a tennis game sat on a high chair.
  2. (cricket) One of the two white-coated officials who preside over a cricket match.
  3. (baseball) One of usually 4 officials who preside over a baseball game.
    The umpire called the pitch a strike.
  4. (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.
  5. (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.
  6. (law) A person who arbitrates between contending parties.
  7. (curling) The official who presides over a curling game.

Usage notesEdit

  • In general, a referee moves around with the game, while an umpire stays (approximately) in one place.



umpire (third-person singular simple present umpires, present participle umpiring, simple past and past participle umpired)

  1. (sports, intransitive) To act as an umpire in a game.
  2. (transitive) To decide as an umpire; to arbitrate; to settle (a dispute, etc.).
    • South
      Judges appointed to umpire the matter in contest between them, and to decide where the right lies.






umpire m (plural umpires)

  1. umpire