from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A member of the municipal legislative body in a town or city in many jurisdictions.
- n. A member of the higher branch of the municipal or borough council in England and Ireland before 1974.
- n. A noble of high rank or authority in Anglo-Saxon England.
- n. The chief officer of a shire in Anglo-Saxon England.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A member of several municipal legislative bodies in a city or town.
- n. A roasted turkey, called an alderman in chains or an alderman hung in chains if garnished with sausages. (1811 Dictionary of Vulgar Tongue)
- n. A man's potbelly.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A senior or superior; a person of rank or dignity.
- n. 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In the Anglo-Saxon period of English history, a title meaning at first simply chieftain or lord, but later used specifically to denote the chief magistrate of a county or group of counties.
- n. Hence In modern usage, a magistrate of a city or borough, next in rank to the mayor.
- n. In England, a half-crown: a meaning explained by Brewer as containing an allusion to the fact that an alderman is a sort of half-king.
- n. A turkey.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a member of a municipal legislative body (as a city council)
Middle English, a person of high rank, from Old English ealdorman : ealdor, elder, chief (from eald, old; see al-2 in Indo-European roots) + man, man; see man.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English aldormann or ealdormann. (Wiktionary)