chairman

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From chair +‎ -man

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

chairman (plural chairmen)

  1. A person (implied male) presiding over a meeting.
  2. The head of a corporate or governmental board of directors, a committee, or other formal entity.
  3. (historical) Someone whose job is to carry people in a portable chair, sedan chair, or similar conveyance.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, p. 618:
      Mr Western entered; but not before a small wrangling bout had passed between him and his chairmen; for the fellows, who had taken up their burden at the Hercules Pillars, had conceived no hopes of having any future good customer in the squire [...]
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers‎ to this entry?)

Usage notes[edit]

Historically meant a man, now often used to refer to chairwomen as well.

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