- Enter a word for the dictionary definition.
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Alderman \Al"der*man\ ([add]l"d[~e]r*man), n.; pl. Aldermen. [AS. aldormon, ealdorman; ealdor an elder + man. See Elder, n.] 1. A senior or superior; a person of rank or dignity. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Note: The title was applied, among the Anglo-Saxons, to princes, dukes, earls, senators, and presiding magistrates; also to archbishops and bishops, implying superior wisdom or authority. Thus Ethelstan, duke of the East-Anglians, was called Alderman of all England; and there were aldermen of cities, counties, and castles, who had jurisdiction within their respective districts. [1913 Webster] 3. One of a board or body of municipal officers next in order to the mayor and having a legislative function. They may, in some cases, individually exercise some magisterial and administrative functions. [1913 Webster]