[ chair-muhn ]
See synonyms for chairman on
noun,plural chair·men.
  1. the presiding officer of a meeting, committee, board, etc.

  2. the administrative head of a department in a high school, college, or university.

  1. someone employed to carry or wheel a person in a chair.

verb (used with object),chair·maned or chair·manned, chair·man·ing or chair·man·ning.
  1. to act as or be chairman of (a meeting, committee, etc.).

Origin of chairman

First recorded in 1645–55; chair + -man

usage note For chairman

Is it chairman, chairwoman, or chairperson? See chairperson.

Words that may be confused with chairman

Words Nearby chairman Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use chairman in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chairman


/ (ˈtʃɛəmən) /

nounplural -men
  1. Also called: chairperson, (fem) chairwoman a person who presides over a company's board of directors, a committee, a debate, an administrative department, etc

  2. history someone who carries a sedan chair

usage For chairman

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

Derived forms of chairman

  • chairmanship, noun

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