al·​der·​man | \ˈȯl-dər-mən \

Definition of alderman 

1 : a person governing a kingdom, district, or shire as viceroy for an Anglo-Saxon king

2a : a magistrate formerly ranking next below the mayor in an English or Irish city or borough

b : a high-ranking member of a borough or county council in Ireland or formerly in England chosen by elected members

3 : a member of a city legislative body

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Other Words from alderman

aldermanic \ˌȯl-​dər-​ˈma-​nik \ adjective

Examples of alderman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Burke had previously voted to approve the project as an alderman. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Ed Burke represented Trump on property tax issues between 2006 and 2018.," 29 Nov. 2018 Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill tells the Commercial Dispatch that aldermen approved the agreement 4-1 Friday. Fox News, "Mississippi city settles with LGBT group over pride parade," 25 May 2018 But Smith said the alderman is not involved in the organization. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Howard Fuller emerges as central figure in battle over the future of MPS North Division High School," 5 July 2018 But just to throw another roadblock in his way, Mayor Rahm had the aldermen place three nonbinding questions on November's ballot. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "News / Politics Rahm makes a joke out of Quinn's term-limit push, but voters could have last laugh," 3 July 2018 Opposition was presented to the mayor’s Capital Improvement Plan, with good points brought up by a resident, then by an alderman. Lake County News-Sun, "Talk of the County: President Trump is not a liar," 24 May 2018 The list also includes projects such as pavement patching, crack filling, bike path overlays, sidewalk repairs and projects funded through ward funds by individual aldermen. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora looks at more than $6 million in road projects," 6 Mar. 2018 By the time the third Syrian family arrived here in June 2017, Louras had lost his job, defeated by an alderman who had previously failed twice to unseat him. Abigail Hauslohner, Washington Post, "Home to 14 refugees, a Vermont city still grapples with the resettlement debate," 27 Jan. 2018 That's generally how aldermen—even the miscreants—rise to the top in the Chicago City Council. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "Clout City / Politics Why did Carlos Ramirez-Rosa get kicked out of the City Council’s Latino Caucus?," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alderman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alderman

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alderman

Middle English, from Old English ealdorman, from ealdor parent (from eald old) + man — more at old

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Statistics for alderman

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for alderman

The first known use of alderman was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of alderman

: a member of a city government in the U.S., Canada, and Australia

: a senior member of an English town, county, or borough council who is elected by the other members


al·​der·​man | \ˈȯl-dər-mən \

Kids Definition of alderman

: a member of a lawmaking body in a city


al·​der·​man | \ˈȯl-dər-mən \

Legal Definition of alderman 

: a member of a city legislative body

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More from Merriam-Webster on alderman

Spanish Central: Translation of alderman

Nglish: Translation of alderman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alderman for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about alderman

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to make faulty or ineffective

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