An adjudicator is someone who presides, judges and arbitrates during a formal dispute. The term adjudicator essentially means a judge, without invoking the legal term. An ombudsman is a type of adjudicator in local government in the United Kingdom.
An example of an adjudicator is a person who makes a preliminary judgment as to an unemployment insurance claim. An adjudicator makes an initial decision to keep a case from going to court. Although the adjudicator's decision does not have the same legal weight, an adjudicator has still rendered a decision just like a judge. Although a case can be appealed to a judge, the adjudicator's decision is frequently accepted as the same as what a judge would make, keeping many time-consuming cases out of the court system.
Adjudicator is also a term used to refer to a panel of judges in the process of receiving a Top Secret/SCI clearance for the United States government. Adjudicators are the panel that review all of the information from a background investigation and a polygraph and make a decision whether or not to grant the clearance. Adjudicators in a medical review board make disability and retirement benefit decisions for Federal employees and Military personnel after an individual has applied for immediate retirement because of a serious or chronic medical condition. Adjudicators also exist for immigration benefits. 
In contexts such as music and theater, an adjudicator (often referred to as a "judge"), is a person who gives a critical evaluation of performances in competitions, festivals or talent shows, resulting in the award of marks, medals or prizes.
Adjudicators Field Manual, United States Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services
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adjudicator — index arbiter, arbitrator, judge, juror, referee, umpire Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 … Law dictionary
Adjudicator — Ad*ju di*ca tor, n. One who adjudicates. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
adjudicator — (n.) 1804, agent noun in Latin form from ADJUDICATE (Cf. adjudicate) … Etymology dictionary
adjudicator — is spelt or … Modern English usage
adjudicator — adjudicate ad‧ju‧di‧cate [əˈdʒuːdɪkeɪt] verb [intransitive, transitive] LAW 1. to officially decide who is right in an argument between two groups or organizations: • The union has offered to adjudicate the claim. adjudicate on • The court… … Financial and business terms
adjudicator — /ə dʒu:dɪkeɪtə/ noun a person who gives a decision on a problem ● an adjudicator in an industrial dispute … Dictionary of banking and finance
adjudicator — adjudicate ► VERB 1) make a formal judgement on a disputed matter. 2) judge a competition. DERIVATIVES adjudication noun adjudicative adjective adjudicator noun. ORIGIN Latin adjudicare adjudge … English terms dictionary
adjudicator — noun see adjudicate … New Collegiate Dictionary
adjudicator — See adjudication. * * * … Universalium
adjudicator — noun /æ.dʒu.dɪˈkeɪ.tɔɹ/ One, especially a man or boy, who adjudicates; compare: adjudicatrix. The State Department has hired hundreds of new passport adjudicators, put employees to work around the clock and opened a new processing facility in… … Wiktionary