alderman

[awl-der-muhn]
noun, plural aldermen.
1.
a member of a municipal legislative body, especially of a municipal council.
2.
(in England) one of the members, chosen by the elected councilors, in a borough or county council.
3.
Early English History.
a.
a chief.
b.
(later) the chief magistrate of a county or group of counties.
4.
Northern U.S. Slang. a pot belly.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English; Old English (e)aldormann, equivalent to ealdor chief, patriarch (eald old + -or noun suffix) + mann man1

aldermancy, aldermanship, noun
aldermanic [awl-der-man-ik] , adjective
underalderman, noun, plural underaldermen.


See -man.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To alderman
Collins
World English Dictionary
alderman (ˈɔːldəmən)
 
n , pl -men
1.  (in England and Wales until 1974) one of the senior members of a local council, elected by other councillors
2.  (in the US, Canada, Australia, etc) a member of the governing body of a municipality
3.  history a variant spelling of ealdorman
 
[Old English aldormann, from ealdor chief (comparative of ealdold) + mannman]
 
aldermanic
 
adj
 
'aldermanry
 
n
 
'aldermanship
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

alderman
O.E. aldormonn (Mercian), ealdormann (W.Saxon), from aldor, ealder "patriarch" (comparative of ald "old") + monn, mann "man." A relic of the days when the elders were automatically in charge of the clan or tribe, but already in O.E. used for king's viceroys, regardless of age. The word yielded in O.E.
to eorl, and after the Norman Conquest to count (n.). Meaning "headman of a guild" (1130) passed to "magistrate of a city" (c.1200) as the guilds became identified with municipal government.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
alderman [(awl-duhr-muhn)]

A member of a city council. Aldermen usually represent city districts, called wards, and work with the mayor to run the city government. Jockeying among aldermen for political influence is often associated with machine politics.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

alderman

member of the legislative body of a municipal corporation in England and the United States. In Anglo-Saxon England, ealdormen, or aldermen, were high-ranking officials of the crown who exercised judicial, administrative, or military functions. Earls, the governors of shires (counties), and other persons of distinction were among those who received the title of alderman. Later the title was used to designate the chief magistrate of a county or group of counties. Under legislation that reformed English local government in the 19th century, the term alderman was used to designate one type of membership in borough, municipal, and county councils. Of these councils' two types of members, councillors were elected by the voters, while aldermen were elected by the councillors. These aldermen had legislative, administrative, and some judicial functions. Because it was viewed as undemocratic, the office of alderman was abolished throughout England (except in the government of the City of London) by the Local Government Act of 1972.

Learn more about alderman with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
When appeal to the alderman proved useless, the truckman resorted to strategy.
Search for your ward and your alderman by address.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature