- 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.
Origin of alderman
Examples from the Web for alderman
Antonio French, a citizen journalist and alderman of the 21st ward in St. Louis, was also detained.Embarrassment, Fear, and Anger: Ferguson's Emotional Whispers
August 14, 2014
A New York alderman once said Petrosino “knocked out more teeth than a dentist.”Who Really Murdered Joe Petrosino?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
June 24, 2014
Dirk Johnson on the real winners—including an alderman rooting for a weak mayor.
Nobody, that is, except the lawyer who brought the case, Burt Odelson—and, according to whispers at City Hall, Alderman Burke.
Rick Munoz, alderman of the 22nd Ward and an active Latino Caucus member, has called Emanuel a "political bully."Rahm vs. the Left
October 5, 2010
“Thou art a good-hearted lad,” said the alderman with a hand on his shoulder.
The alderman saw no reason to repent his decision, hastily as it had been made.
Now, when the Alderman saw that strange round thing at his threshold he was afraid.Johnny Bear
E. T. Seton
This hand was given to Alderman, who shot him, as his share of the spoil.King Philip
John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
An alderman present observed, "Then all the fat would be in the fire."
- (in England and Wales until 1974) one of the senior members of a local council, elected by other councillors
- (in the US, Canada, Australia, etc) a member of the governing body of a municipality
- history a variant spelling of ealdorman
Word Origin and History for alderman
Old English aldormonn (Mercian), ealdormann (West Saxon) "ruler, prince, chief; chief officer of a shire," from aldor, ealder "patriarch" (comparative of ald "old;" see old) + monn, mann "man" (see man (n.)). A relic of the days when the elders were automatically in charge of the clan or tribe, but already in Old English used for king's viceroys, regardless of age. The word yielded in Old English to eorl, and after the Norman Conquest to count (n.). Meaning "headman of a guild" (early 12c.) passed to "magistrate of a city" (c.1200) as the guilds became identified with municipal government.
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.