Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    One chosen to decide a controversy out of court by mutual consent. See 57 Am. St. Rep. 312.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    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. C.) 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.