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 leaderless (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

The meeting between the two leaders at the G-20 summit is their first in seven months, although the two reportedly saw each other at a dinner for the Group of 20 leaders, where Trump said much was accomplished. Fox News, "Trump, Xi arrive for high-stakes G-20 meeting," 30 June 2019 The agreement, brokered during more than an hour of discussion between the leaders, did not by itself signal any major breakthrough in resolving the fundamental conflict. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "Trump and Xi Agree to Restart Trade Talks, Avoiding Escalation in Tariff War," 29 June 2019 At the start of their meeting, inside a room in Osaka’s exhibition and convention center, the two leaders sat at a long table, with Trump and Xi facing each other, aides at their side to the right and left. Don Lee, latimes.com, "Trump and Xi agree to restart trade talks, put hold on new tariffs," 29 June 2019 The agreement, brokered during more than an hour of discussion between the leaders, did not by itself signal any major breakthrough in resolving the fundamental conflict. Keith Bradsher, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump and Xi agree to restart trade talks, avoiding escalation in tariff war," 29 June 2019 Until the two leaders sat down for an 80-minute lunch meeting Saturday on the sidelines of a Group of 20 meeting, the U.S. was poised to hit China with tariffs on the roughly $300 billion in goods that aren’t currently covered by 25% tariffs. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "Trump Allows U.S. Sales to Huawei as Trade Talks Resume," 29 June 2019 The two leaders are also expected to discuss North Korea. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump invites Kim Jong Un to meet him at Korea border," 28 June 2019 The division is both presented and symbolically resolved in the photo of the two leaders together that the character Smiley (Thomas Guenveur Smith) decorates and sells—and which Lee puts on the screen after the two quotes. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Enduring Urgency of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” at Thirty," 28 June 2019 The partnership represents the first of its kind for the two Broward health systems, but the leaders say a new state law effective July 1 could drive their efforts to avoid duplication of services and manage costs. Cindy Krischer Goodman, sun-sentinel.com, "Broward’s public hospital systems look to form partnership for transplant divisions," 28 June 2019

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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Statistics for leader

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for leader

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on leader

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leader

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leader

Spanish Central: Translation of leader

Nglish: Translation of leader for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leader for Arabic Speakers

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