noun, plural aldermen.
a member of a municipal legislative body, especially of a municipal council.
(in England) one of the members, chosen by the elected councilors, in a borough or county council.
Early English History.
a chief.
(later) the chief magistrate of a county or group of counties.
Northern U.S. Slang. a pot belly.

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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To alderman-ship
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]

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
Word Origin & History

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
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature