[band-wag-uh n]


a wagon, usually large and ornately decorated, for carrying a musical band while it is playing, as in a circus parade or to a political rally.
a party, cause, movement, etc., that by its mass appeal or strength readily attracts many followers: After it became apparent that the incumbent would win, everyone decided to jump on the bandwagon.

Origin of bandwagon

An Americanism dating back to 1850–55; band1 + wagon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bandwagon

Contemporary Examples of bandwagon

Historical Examples of bandwagon

  • There's something in an Irishman that drives him into the bandwagon.

    Cappy Ricks Retires

    Peter B. Kyne

  • Her eyes were set on the bias and she was painted more colors than a bandwagon.

  • Gid's not to say a teetotaler, but he had to climb into the bandwagon skiff or sink outen sight.

    Rose of Old Harpeth

    Maria Thompson Daviess

  • Should he jump on the bandwagon of advancement to the stars, hoping to catch the imagination of the voters by it?

    Progress Report

    Mark Clifton

  • The realists had won; the rest climbed on the bandwagon but quick; and the temple was cleansed.

British Dictionary definitions for bandwagon



US a wagon, usually high and brightly coloured, for carrying the band in a parade
jump on the bandwagon, climb on the bandwagon or get on the bandwagon to join or give support to a party or movement that seems to be assured of success
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bandwagon

also band-wagon, 1855, American English, from band (n.2) + wagon, originally a large wagon used to carry the band in a circus procession; as these also figured in celebrations of successful political campaigns, being on the bandwagon came to represent "attaching oneself to anything that looks likely to succeed," a usage first attested 1899 in writings of Theodore Roosevelt.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper