Part of speech: noun
Origin: Middle English, 15th century
Leader or trendsetter
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."
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.