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

Other Words from alderman

aldermanic \ ˌȯl-​dər-​ˈma-​nik How to pronounce alderman (audio) \ adjective

Examples of alderman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wulff was also a local alderman and the city’s first parks commissioner, and is said to have planned and funded renovations to Alamo and Military plazas. Madison Iszler, San Antonio Express-News, 16 Nov. 2021 According to Ryan, calling one’s alderman to learn about organizations doing work in specific communities is helpful for people unsure where to start. Jade Yan,, 13 Nov. 2021 An alderman serves as a city council member and a legislator who represents the residents of his or her ward, and is the only electable Chicago official who can receive such a pay raise. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, 9 Sep. 2021 In the past decade, 35 of the 50 wards have elected a new alderman. John Byrne,, 22 Oct. 2021 Chicago alderman Anthony Beale, a critic of Lightfoot, is worried about safety this weekend. Charlie De Mar, CBS News, 19 Oct. 2021 Normally, each city has a database that ties a person's address to a particular alderman. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 Oct. 2021 Chicago Public Schools in 2020 voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, provoking anger from several alderman and Italian-American groups. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 11 Oct. 2021 Turner was the only alderman voting to move the ordinance to the full council. Steve Sadin,, 3 Aug. 2021

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

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Last Updated

26 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alderman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for alderman



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

More from Merriam-Webster on alderman

Nglish: Translation of alderman for Spanish Speakers

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


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