- the presiding officer of a meeting, committee, board, etc.
- the administrative head of a department in a high school, college, or university.
- someone employed to carry or wheel a person in a chair.
- to act as or be chairman of (a meeting, committee, etc.).
Origin of chairman
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for chairman
Their friendship began when Krauss, who was chairman of the physics department at Case Western in Cleveland, sought out Epstein.Sleazy Billionaire’s Double Life Featured Beach Parties With Stephen Hawking
January 8, 2015
Occasionally Lew Wasserman, the chairman of MCA and one of Hitchcock's oldest friends, rings up just to see how he is.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
He recently put up $50 million for half the cost of the Kennedy Center expansion, where he is chairman of the board.Patriotic Philanthropy: Not an Oxymoron
November 27, 2014
“There are people in the party who live alternative lifestyles,” said Michael McDonald, the state GOP chairman.Could This Be the First Pro-Choice Republican on a National Ticket?
November 20, 2014
He founded Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged (HELP), and served as chairman of the New York City Homeless Commission.Andrew Cuomo Ignores Rural New York
November 8, 2014
The chairman rose to propose the toast of the evening, and was received with cheers.
Mr. Randell, the Chairman of the Perth Municipality, read an address of welcome.
He was Chairman of this, Trustee of that, President of the other.Little Dorrit
"That is my name," said the chairman of the Malgamite Fund, with his finger in his watch-chain.Roden's Corner
Henry Seton Merriman
Marsh shouted to the chairman, and the piercing whistle for order was heard.The Harbor
- Also called: chairperson, (fem) chairwoman a person who presides over a company's board of directors, a committee, a debate, an administrative department, etc
- history someone who carries a sedan chair
Chairman can seem inappropriate when applied to a woman, while chairwoman can be offensive. Chair and chairperson can be applied to either a man or a woman; chair is generally preferred to chairperson
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
Word Origin and History for chairman
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper