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[chair-woo m-uh n]
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noun, plural chair·wom·en.
  1. a woman who presides over a meeting, committee, department, etc.

Origin of chairwoman

First recorded in 1690–1700; chair + woman
Also called chairlady.
Can be confusedchair chairman chairperson chairwoman (see usage note at chairperson)

Usage note

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for chairwoman


"woman who leads a formal meeting," 1752, from chair (n.) + woman.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper