Etymology
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separated (adj.)

1530s, past-participle adjective from separate (v.). In reference to married couples deciding to live apart, from 1878.

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rubber (n.2)

"deciding match" in a game or contest, usually a third where each has won one, 1590s, a word of unknown origin and signification; even the original form is uncertain. Not obviously connected to rubber (n.1). 

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decide (v.)

late 14c., "to settle a dispute, determine a controversy," from Old French decider, from Latin decidere "to decide, determine," literally "to cut off," from de "off" (see de-) + caedere "to cut" (from PIE root *kae-id- "to strike"). For Latin vowel change, see acquisition. Sense is of resolving difficulties "at a stroke." Meaning "to make up one's mind" is attested from 1830. Related: Decided; deciding.

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arbitration (n.)

late 14c., arbitracioun, "faculty of making a choice or decision, judgment, discretion;" early 15c., "authority or responsibility for deciding a dispute," from Old French arbitracion and directly from Latin arbitrationem (nominative arbitratio) "judgment, will," noun of action from past-participle stem of arbitrari "to be of an opinion, give a decision," from arbiter "a judge, umpire, mediator" (see arbiter). The meaning "settlement of a dispute by a third party" is from 1630s. Related: Arbitrative.

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arbitrary (adj.)

c. 1400, "deciding by one's own discretion, depending on one's judgment," from Latin arbitrarius "of arbitration," hence "depending on the will, uncertain," from arbiter (see arbiter). The meaning in English gradually descended to "capricious, ungoverned by reason or rule, despotic" (1640s). Related: Arbitrarily; arbitrariness.

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runoff (n.)

also run-off, "precipitation water drained by streams and rivers," 1887, from the verbal phrase; see run (v.) + off (adv.). The meaning "deciding race after a tie" is by 1873; the extended sense in reference to an election between the two who got the most votes in the previous, undecided election is attested by 1910, American English.

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self-determination (n.)

1680s, "determination of mind; determination by one's own will or powers without external influence," from self- + determination. The political sense, action of a people in deciding its statehood and form of government," is attested by 1911, popularized 1918 by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in reference to the settlement of World War I. The idea itself is from 19c., and Churchill compared Fichte's Selbst bestimmung. Related: Self-determined; self-determining.

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decision (n.)

mid-15c., "act of deciding," from Old French décision (14c.), from Latin decisionem (nominative decisio) "a decision, settlement, agreement," noun of action from past-participle stem of decidere "to decide, determine," literally "to cut off," from de "off" (see de-) + caedere "to cut" (from PIE root *kae-id- "to strike").

Meaning "final judgment or opinion in a case" is from 1550s. Meaning "quality of being decided in character, ability to make prompt determinations" is from 1781; sense of "a resolution, a fixing of purpose" is by 1886.  Decision-making (adjective) is recorded by 1946.

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trial (n.)

mid-15c., "act or process of testing, a putting to proof by examination, experiment, etc.," from Anglo-French trial, noun formed from trier "to try" (see try (v.)). Sense of "examining and deciding of the issues between parties in a court of law" is first recorded 1570s; extended to any ordeal by 1590s.

As an adjectival phrase, trial-and-error is recorded from 1806. Trial balloon (1826) translates French ballon d'essai, a small balloon sent up immediately before a manned ascent to determine the direction and tendency of winds in the upper air, though the earliest use in English is figurative.

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taste (n.)

early 14c., "act of tasting," from Old French tast "sense of touch" (Modern French tât), from taster (see taste (v.)). From late 14c. as "a small portion given;" also "faculty or sense by which the flavor of a thing is discerned;" also "savor, sapidity, flavor."

Meaning "aesthetic judgment, faculty of discerning and appreciating what is excellent" is first attested 1670s (compare French goût, German geschmack, Russian vkus, etc.).

Of all the five senses, 'taste' is the one most closely associated with fine discrimination, hence the familiar secondary uses of words for 'taste, good taste' with reference to aesthetic appreciation. [Buck]
Taste is active, deciding, choosing, changing, arranging, etc.; sensibility is passive, the power to feel, susceptibility of impression, as from the beautiful. [Century Dictionary]
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