Thursday, April 03, 2008
bellwether noun [BEL-weth-er] a person or thing that shows the existence or direction of a trend; index.
Definitions for bellwether
- a person or thing that shows the existence or direction of a trend; index.
- a wether or other male sheep that leads the flock, usually bearing a bell.
- a person or thing that assumes the leadership or forefront, as of a profession or industry: Paris is a bellwether of the fashion industry.
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Citations for bellwether
On balance, Doon seems a tidy, almost jejune specimen of conventional mystery fiction--hardly a bellwether of a major literary career.
The federation’s chief executive, Matthew Shay, said big shifts in consumer behavior made Black Friday weekend sales less of a bellwether for holiday spending, or for the state of the American consumer.
Origin of bellwether
late Middle English
Bellwether comes from the word wether meaning "a castrated male sheep." It entered English in the mid-1400s.