Se*lect"man (?), n.; pl. Selectmen ().
One of a board of town officers chosen annually in the New England States to transact the general public business of the town, and have a kind of executive authority. The number is usually from three to seven in each town.
The system of delegated town action was then, perhaps, the same which was defined in an "order made in 1635 by the inhabitants of Charlestown at a full meeting for the government of the town, by selectmen;" the name presently extended throughout New England to municipal governors.
© Webster 1913.