[ awl-der-muhn ]
/ 藞蓴l d蓹r m蓹n /
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noun, plural al路der路men.
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.
  1. a chief.
  2. (later) the chief magistrate of a county or group of counties.
Northern U.S. Slang. a pot belly.
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Origin of alderman

before 900; Middle English; Old English (e)aldormann, equivalent to ealdor chief, patriarch (ealdold + -or noun suffix) + mannman

usage note for alderman

See -man.


al路der路man路cy, al路der路man路ship, nounal路der路man路ic [awl-der-man-ik], /藢蓴l d蓹r藞m忙n 瑟k/, adjectiveun路der路al路der路man, noun, plural un路der路al路der路men.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use alderman in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for alderman

/ (藞蓴藧ld蓹m蓹n) /

noun plural -men
(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
Abbreviations (for senses 1, 2): Ald, Aldm

Derived forms of alderman

aldermanic (藢蓴藧ld蓹藞m忙n瑟k), adjectivealdermanry, nounaldermanship, noun

Word Origin for alderman

Old English aldormann, from ealdor chief (comparative of eald old) + mann man
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for 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 New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright 漏 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.