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bellwether

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noun bell·weth·er \ˈbel-ˈwe-thər, -ˌwe-\

Simple Definition of bellwether

  • : someone or something that leads others or shows what will happen in the future

Full Definition of bellwether

  1. :  one that takes the lead or initiative :  leader; also :  an indicator of trends

Examples of bellwether

  1. She is a bellwether of fashion.

  2. High-tech bellwethers led the decline in the stock market.

  3. a county that is a bellwether in national elections



Origin of bellwether

Middle English, leading sheep of a flock, leader, from belle bell + wether; from the practice of belling the leader of a flock


First Known Use: 13th century



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