Dictionary.com

bellwether

[ bel-weth-er ]
/ ˈbɛlˌwɛð ər /
Save This Word!

noun
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.
a person or thing that shows the existence or direction of a trend; index.
a person who leads a mob, mutiny, conspiracy, or the like; ringleader.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of bellwether

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at bell1, wether
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use bellwether in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bellwether

bellwether
/ (ˈbɛlˌwɛðə) /

noun
a sheep that leads the herd, often bearing a bell
a leader, esp one followed unquestioningly
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
FEEDBACK