from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An officer appointed yearly at the leet of ancient English communities to ensure the goodness and wholesomeness of bread, ale, and beer.
- n. One of the officers chosen by the liverymen of London, England for the sinecure of inspecting the measures used in public houses.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Orig., an officer appointed to look to the goodness of ale and beer; also, one of the officers chosen by the liverymen of London to inspect the measures used in public houses. But the office is a sinecure. [Also called aletaster.]
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Originally, a local officer appointed to assay ale and beer, and to take care that they were good and wholesome, and sold at a proper price.
ale + con, Old English cunnen to test, Anglo-Saxon cunnian to test. See con and -er. (Wiktionary)