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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web His running mate, Sara Duterte, the daughter of the outgoing leader and mayor of southern Davao city, had a formidable lead in the vice presidential race, which is separate from the presidential race. Jim Gomez, ajc, 10 May 2022 Wambsgans also won for best photography and for best photo for photos of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Chicago Tribune Staff, Chicago Tribune, 9 May 2022 Fausto Salinas, the chief of the National Police, told local media outlets that the transfer of a gang leader to the Santo Domingo prison sparked the violence. Washington Post, 9 May 2022 But now the arrest of the Islands' leader in Miami threatens to upend how the popular tax haven operates. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 6 May 2022 In an interesting twist, perhaps the most interesting sign of dissent could have been what came from the mouth of that controversial Belarusian leader, Putin’s last real ally. Amy Kellogg, Fox News, 6 May 2022 The only son of the authoritarian leader, Marcos Jr entered politics early, becoming vice governor of northern Ilocos Norte province in 1980 at the age of 23. Veejay Villafranca For Cnn, CNN, 6 May 2022 Built under the guidance of local leader Dr. Magueye Ba, resources and materials are sourced largely from the Tambacounda region, ensuring that the financial investment remains local. Rod Berger, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Lewis is the new executive director of the Sound Start Foundation based in North County and the charitable arm of a global leader in audio innovation, Sound United. Clarissa Reyes Falcon, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of leader

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near leader

leaden flycatcher



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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Leader.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leader. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for leader


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

More from Merriam-Webster on leader

Nglish: Translation of leader for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leader for Arabic Speakers


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