[ lee-der ]
See synonyms for: leaderleaders on Thesaurus.com

  1. a person or thing that leads.

  2. a guiding or directing head, as of an army, movement, or political group.

  1. Music.

    • a conductor or director, as of an orchestra, band, or chorus.

    • the player at the head of the first violins in an orchestra, the principal cornetist in a band, or the principal soprano in a chorus, to whom any incidental solos are usually assigned.

  2. a featured article of trade, especially one offered at a low price to attract customers.: Compare loss leader.

  3. Journalism.

  4. blank film or tape at the beginning of a length of film or magnetic tape, used for threading a motion-picture camera, tape recorder, etc.: Compare trailer (def. 6).

  5. Angling.

    • a length of nylon, silkworm gut, wire, or the like, to which the lure or hook is attached.

    • the net used to direct fish into a weir, pound, etc.

  6. a pipe for conveying rainwater downward, as from a roof; downspout.

  7. a horse harnessed at the front of a team.

  8. leaders, Printing. a row of dots or a short line to lead the eye across a space.

  9. Nautical. lead1 (def. 40b).

  10. a duct for conveying warm air from a hot-air furnace to a register or stack.

  11. Mining. a thin vein of ore connected with a large vein.

Origin of leader

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English leder(e); see lead1, -er1

Other words from leader

  • lead·er·less, adjective
  • sub·lead·er, noun

Words Nearby leader

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use leader in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for leader


/ (ˈliːdə) /

  1. a person who rules, guides, or inspires others; head

  2. music

    • Also called (esp US and Canadian): concertmaster the principal first violinist of an orchestra, who plays solo parts, and acts as the conductor's deputy and spokesman for the orchestra

    • US a conductor or director of an orchestra or chorus

    • the first man on a climbing rope

    • the leading horse or dog in a team

  1. mainly US and Canadian an article offered at a sufficiently low price to attract customers: See also loss leader

  2. a statistic or index that gives an advance indication of the state of the economy

  3. Also called: leading article mainly British the leading editorial in a newspaper

  4. angling another word for trace 2 (def. 2), cast (def. 32a)

  5. nautical another term for fairlead

  6. a strip of blank film or tape used to facilitate threading a projector, developing machine, etc, and to aid identification

  7. (plural) printing rows of dots or hyphens used to guide the reader's eye across a page, as in a table of contents

  8. botany any of the long slender shoots that grow from the stem or branch of a tree: usually removed during pruning

  9. British a member of the Government having primary authority in initiating legislative business (esp in the phrases Leader of the House of Commons and Leader of the House of Lords)

  10. the senior barrister, usually a Queen's Counsel, in charge of the conduct of a case: Compare junior (def. 6)

Derived forms of leader

  • leaderless, adjective

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