al·​der·​man | \ ˈȯl-dər-mən How to pronounce alderman (audio) \

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 How to pronounce aldermanic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of alderman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some aldermen, including Beale, have complained the 2020 spending package is built on quicksand until the ambulance money is approved. John Byrne,, "Mayor Lori Lightfoot says alderman doesn’t understand budget because he went on hunting trip during committee hearings," 25 Nov. 2019 But Roberts was also a lay preacher, and later became an alderman and the town’s mayor. James Wood, The New Yorker, "It’s Still Mrs. Thatcher’s Britain," 25 Nov. 2019 Matt Rosek was the lone alderman in favor of going to WCC. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "While one alderman expressed financial concerns, Oconomowoc will keep its local dispatch service," 11 Nov. 2019 Documents charging Burke, Chicago’s longest serving alderman, focused on his law firm, Klafter & Burke, accusing the 75-year-old of trying to extort the owner of a fast-food company for legal business in exchange for city construction permits. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Investigations touch Illinois powerbroker’s confidants," 27 Sep. 2019 Frieders is in his second term as alderman in Yorkville's Third Ward. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Yorkville alderman keeps up campaign for suicide awareness," 25 Apr. 2018 An alderman becomes a presidential candidate and chooses his unsophisticated brother as a running mate. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 But cost concerns left aldermen reluctant to approve the project for most of those years until 2017, when the city renewed its effort. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waukesha's new City Hall will cost $19.4 million to build based on low bid now in officials' hands," 20 Aug. 2019 This is what Chicago’s restaurant industry did, with the help of an alderman who owns several restaurants and is the former head of the Illinois Restaurant Association. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: The land of the free and the home of the rent-seekers," 15 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for alderman

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

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Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Alderman.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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How to pronounce alderman (audio)

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 How to pronounce alderman (audio) \

Kids Definition of alderman

: a member of a lawmaking body in a city


al·​der·​man | \ ˈȯl-dər-mən How to pronounce alderman (audio) \

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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