Etymology
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chairman (n.)

1650s, "occupier of a chair of authority," from chair (n.) + man (n.). Meaning "member of a corporate body chosen to preside at meetings" is from c. 1730. Chairwoman in this sense first attested 1699; chairperson 1971.

updated on October 29, 2017

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Definitions of chairman from WordNet
1
chairman (v.)
act or preside as chair, as of an academic department in a university;
Synonyms: chair
2
chairman (n.)
the officer who presides at the meetings of an organization;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.