lead·​er | \ ˈlē-dər How to pronounce leader (audio) \

Definition of leader

1 : something that leads: such as
a : a primary or terminal shoot of a plant
b : tendon, sinew the leaders in his wrists moved like baling wire— Dillon Anderson
c leaders plural : dots or hyphens (as in an index) used to lead the eye horizontally : ellipsis sense 2
d chiefly British : a newspaper editorial
e(1) : something for guiding fish into a trap
(2) : a short length of material for attaching the end of a fishing line to a lure or hook
g : something that ranks first the leaders among communicable diseases
h : a blank section at the beginning or end of a reel of film or recorded tape
2 : a person who leads: such as
a : guide, conductor The tour leader recommended several restaurants in the area.
b(1) : a person who directs a military force or unit leaders of the army
(2) : a person who has commanding authority or influence a leader in the reform movement
c(1) : the principal officer of a British political party
(2) : a party member chosen to manage party activities in a legislative body the majority leader
(3) : such a party member presiding over the whole legislative body when the party constitutes a majority the leader of the House
d(1) : conductor sense c the orchestra's leader
(2) : a first or principal performer of a group The concertmaster is the leader of the violin section.
3 : a horse placed in advance of the other horses of a team

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Other Words from leader

leaderless \ ˈlē-​dər-​ləs How to pronounce leader (audio) \ adjective

Examples of leader in a Sentence

The tour leader suggested several restaurants in the area. She was the leader for most of the race, but she eventually finished second. The class focused on the great religious leaders of the last century. the leader of an army a leader of the antiwar movement Some people are leaders, and some people are followers. The company has become a leader in developing new technology. the leader of a popular big band of the 1930s The Times attacked the government in a leader today.
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Recent Examples on the Web Oh My Baby and the workplace drama VIP, and Jung Yong-hwa, leader of the group CNBLUE and the star of dramas such as The Package, seem to be having plenty of fun with the plot of this fantasy thriller. Joan Macdonald, Forbes, "Jang Nara And Jung Yong-Hwa Evict Ghosts In ‘Sell Your Haunted House’," 16 Apr. 2021 Frank Buckley Interviews Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta. Los Angeles Times, "Sunday Talk Shows guests: Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield," 16 Apr. 2021 Criminal charges were filed this week against four editors of an online student magazine that had posted a video connected to the nationwide protests in January calling for the release of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Jim Heintz, Star Tribune, "US broadcaster asks European court to block Russian fines," 15 Apr. 2021 Last year, Trump declined to condemn Russia over the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Brian Fung, CNN, "Six key takeaways from Biden's Russia sanctions announcement," 15 Apr. 2021 To say taking a quarterback in the first round is a ticket to gaining a longtime leader and star for the team that identifies and picks him is dubious, at best. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: BYU’s Zach Wilson poised to be what no other college player in Utah has been — the NFL’s No. 2 draft pick," 15 Apr. 2021 Tesla has been a technology leader and other companies are rushing to catch up, including Ford. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Tesla's Elon Musk claps back at Jim Farley, Ford with 'Tommy Boy' clip on Twitter," 15 Apr. 2021 Straight Tail worm in Alabama Craw, both rigged on a shaky-head jig with 10 pound fluorocarbon leader and 15 pound braid. Frank Sargeant, al, "Alabama Bass Trail teams turn up big catches at Lake Wheeler," 14 Apr. 2021 Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday Republicans have zero appetite for dismantling the GOP tax law to pay for it. BostonGlobe.com, "Biden aims for bipartisanship but applies stealthy pressure," 13 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leader.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of leader

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for leader

Time Traveler

The first known use of leader was in the 14th century

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Statistics for leader

Last Updated

20 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Leader.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leader. Accessed 23 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for leader



English Language Learners Definition of leader

: someone who guides other people
: someone or something that is ahead of others in a race or competition
: a powerful person who controls or influences what other people do : a person who leads a group, organization, country, etc.


lead·​er | \ ˈlē-dər How to pronounce leader (audio) \

Kids Definition of leader

: someone or something that leads or is able to lead a political leader

Other Words from leader

leadership \ -​ˌship \ noun

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