One entry found for umpire.
Main Entry: umĚpire
Etymology: Middle English oumpere, an altered form of noumpere "one having authority to decide an issue or dispute," from early French nounpier, nompere (adjective) "single, odd, without equal," from non-, nom- "not" and per "equal," from Latin par "equal" --related to COMPARE, PAIR, PAR, PEER 1: one having authority to decide an argument or a question 2: an official in a sport (as baseball) who rules on plays - umpireverb Word History The meaning of the Latin word par was "equal." From par came the early French word per, which also meant "equal." Per was combined with the prefix non-, nom-, meaning "not," to form the early French word nomper, which meant "without equal." Nomper came into Middle English as a noun, noumpere. The meaning of noumpere was "a person who is not equal, a person who has authority over others." Many people who heard the words a noumpere thought they were actually hearing an oumpere. Because of that misunderstanding, the letter n in time came to be dropped from noumpere. Other changes over the course of many years have given us the modern word umpire.