Definitions for ealdormanˈɔl dər mən
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
eal•dor•manˈɔl dər mən(n.)(pl.)-men.
the chief magistrate of a shire in Anglo-Saxon England.
Category: Western History
Origin of ealdorman:
bef. 900; < OE; see alderman
the chief magistrate of a shire in Anglo-Saxon England
An ealdorman is the term used for a high-ranking royal official and prior magistrate of an Anglo-Saxon shire or group of shires from about the ninth century to the time of King Cnut. The term ealdorman was rendered in Latin as dux in early West Saxon charters, and as præfectus. In the Life of King Alfred by the Welsh bishop Asser, the Latin equivalent is comes. As the chief magistrate of a shire or group of shires in Anglo-Saxon England, he commanded the army of the shire and districts under his control on behalf of the king.