the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group: He managed to maintain his leadership of the party despite heavy opposition.
ability to lead: As early as sixth grade she displayed remarkable leadership potential.
an act or instance of leading; guidance; direction: They prospered under his strong leadership.
the leaders of a group: The union leadership agreed to arbitrate.

Nearby words

  1. leader board,
  2. leader cable,
  3. leader head,
  4. leaderboard,
  5. leaderless,
  6. leadfoot,
  7. leadfooted,
  8. leading,
  9. leading aircraftman,
  10. leading article

Origin of leadership

First recorded in 1815–25; leader + -ship

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for leadership

British Dictionary definitions for leadership



the position or function of a leader
the period during which a person occupies the position of leaderduring her leadership very little was achieved
  1. the ability to lead
  2. (as modifier)leadership qualities
the leaders as a group of a party, union, etcthe union leadership is now very reactionary
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 leadership



1821, "position of a leader," from leader + -ship. Sense extended by late 19c. to "characteristics necessary to be a leader."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper