(1) Also sometimes referred to as an arbiter, this is the adjudicating and presiding person to whom a dispute has been submitted for arbitration. (2) A private extraordinary judge chosen by the parties who have a matter in dispute, invested with power to decide the same. Arbitrators are so called because they have generally an arbitrary power, there being in common no appeal from their sentences, which are called awards.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
A private, disinterested person, chosen by the parties to a disputed question, for the purpose of bearing their contention, and giving judgment between them; to whose decision (award) the litigants submit themselves either voluntarily, or, in some cases, compulsorily, by order of a court. Gordon v. U. S., 7 Wall. 195, 19 L. Ed. 35; Mobile v. Wood (C. O.) 95 Fed. 538; Burchell v. Marsh, 17 How. 349, 15 L. Ed. 96; Miller v. Canal Co., 53 Barb. (N. Y.) 595; Fudickar v. Insurance Co., 62 N. Y. 399. “Referee” is of frequent modern use as a synonym of arbitrator, but is in its origin of broader signification and less accurate than arbitrator.