Definition for ALD'ER-MAN

ALD'ER-MAN, n. [plur. Aldermen. Sax. ald or eald, old, comp. alder, older, and man; Gr. alt; D. oud.]

  1. Among our Saxon ancestors, a senior or superior. The title was applied 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.
  2. In present usage, a magistrate or officer of a town corporate, next in rank below the mayor. The number of aldermen is different in different cities. In London the number is twenty-six, one in each ward, and the office is held for life. – Spelman. Cowell. Encyc. In the United States, the number of aldermen depends on the charters of incorporation. In general, aldermen have the powers of a justice of the peace, and, with the mayor, they constitute the court of the corporation. In most of our cities, they are annually elected by the citizens.

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