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1. A member of the municipal legislative body in a town or city in many jurisdictions.
2. A member of the higher branch of the municipal or borough council in England and Ireland before 1974.
a. A noble of high rank or authority in Anglo-Saxon England.
b. The chief officer of a shire in Anglo-Saxon England.
[Middle English, a person of high rank, from Old English ealdorman : ealdor, elder, chief (from eald, old; see al- in Indo-European roots) + man, man; see man.]
al′der·man·cy (-sē) n.
al′der·man′ic (-măn′ĭk) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.