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 Khrushchev’s visit marked the first time a Soviet leader set foot on U.S. soil. Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2022 Former President Bill Clinton and the late Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev have also previously spoken to the forum. Fox News, 18 Sep. 2022 Prior to the invasion of Poland, Hitler and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin signed the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. Caitlin Mclean, USA TODAY, 16 Sep. 2022 Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader credited with ending the Cold War and bringing about the collapse of the USSR, will be laid to rest on Saturday, after having died Tuesday at the age of 91. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 5 Sep. 2022 The former Soviet leader cemented the thawing of the Cold War with the signing of the landmark Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with President Ronald Reagan. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, 3 Sep. 2022 Novodevichy is also the final resting place of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Leila Sackur, NBC News, 3 Sep. 2022 Who knew a Soviet leader could be passionately in love? Jill Dougherty, CNN, 3 Sep. 2022 However, reports suggest the elite hospital—where former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev also passed away this week—had no CCTV cameras covering the relevant spot. David Meyer, Fortune, 1 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for leader

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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

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Leader.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leader. Accessed 2 Oct. 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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