All Words > Bellwether

Saturday, August 31

Bellwether

[bel-we-thər]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Middle English, 15th century

1.

Leader or trendsetter

2.

Something that predicts trends

Examples of Bellwether in a sentence

"The pioneering CEO was a bellwether who set the tone for the rest of the company."

"Meteorologists say moisture in the air is a bellwether of storms to come."

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About Bellwether

Bellwether is now most commonly used in political contexts, generally to describe a small region whose political and voting actions are likely to reflect the future behaviors of a nation or jurisdiction as a whole.

Did you Know?

Shepherds used to hang a bell around the neck of a lead sheep that would help guide the others in the flock. Wether is a noun that refers to a male sheep — hence, the "leadership" definition of bellwether.

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