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[mey-er, mair] /ˈmeɪ ər, mɛər/
the chief executive official, usually elected, of a city, village, or town.
the chief magistrate of a city or borough.
Origin of mayor
1250-1300; < Medieval Latin major major; replacing Middle English mer, mair < Old French maire
Related forms
mayoral, adjective
mayorship, noun
Can be confused
mare, mayor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mayor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His first mayoralty was in 1273, and in 1275 he was mayor of Bordeaux.

    The Story of London Henry B. Wheatley
  • Mr. mayor was therefore informed that the declaration would not be read.

  • "That's it; we drink, but according to custom," put in the mayor.

    Hania Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • "The clams and scallops shall be ready within the hour," the mayor answered.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Suppose me, for example, mayor of Verrires, and as well meaning and honest as M. de Rnal is at bottom.

British Dictionary definitions for mayor


the chairman and civic head of a municipal corporation in many countries Scottish equivalent provost
Derived Forms
mayoral, adjective
mayorship, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French maire, from Latin maior greater. See major
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mayor

c.1300, from Old French maire "head of a city or town government" (13c.), originally "greater, superior" (adj.), from Latin maior, major, comparative of magnus "great" (see magnum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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