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chairman

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Life is an uphill business for the guy who's not on the level.
John Welsh
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English

Etymology

From chair + man

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
chairman

Plural
chairmen

chairman (chairmen)
  1. A person 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 [...]

Usage notes

  • This term has often and can be used to specify the gender of the person who is the head or person presiding.
  • In current usage it is often used without regard to the gender of the incumbent.
  • Historically, women had not often occupied such positions of formal authority.

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Translations

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