lead·​er·​ship | \ ˈlē-dər-ˌship How to pronounce leadership (audio) \

Definition of leadership

1 : the office or position of a leader recently assumed the leadership of the company
2 : capacity to lead a politician who lacks leadership
3 : the act or an instance of leading leadership molds individuals into a team— Harold Koontz & Cyril O'Donnell
4 : leaders the party leadership

Examples of leadership in a Sentence

a politician who lacks leadership What this country needs is the exercise of strong leadership!

Recent Examples on the Web

Lamb, who promised in his campaign not to support Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House, voted for Kennedy for the leadership role. BostonGlobe.com, "As the 2018 midterm elections approached, Democratic candidates around the country wanted Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III’s help.," 17 Sep. 2019 Another area Dom Fredrickson emphasized to his younger brother coming into his senior season was leadership. Gregg Voss, chicagotribune.com, "Leyden’s Vince Fredrickson evokes memories of older brother, Dom; ‘They are kind of the same guy’," 16 Sep. 2019 America’s continued abdication of any serious leadership role in the climate crisis touched off a series of other high-profile defections from regional and international climate accords that were already insufficient in their target goals. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "The Blood-Dimmed Tide," 16 Sep. 2019 After three years of exile due to numerous infractions that saw the city cut ties with the program, new leadership has come forward to bring the organization back to the community that fought hard for its return. Emmett Hall, sun-sentinel.com, "Deerfield Packer Rattlers youth football organization’s new leadership looks to right the ship," 12 Sep. 2019 But in the larger scheme of things, xenophobia is a distraction from the leadership role that Nigeria and South Africa should play on the continent on fundamental issues of immigration and economic integration. Gilbert M Khadiagala, Quartz Africa, "Nigerians aren’t targeted more than other Africans in South Africa’s xenophobic attacks but the damage is done," 12 Sep. 2019 The House budget override vote has been on the daily floor calendar since early July, and from time to time the Republican leadership had announced that there would be no recorded votes on certain days. CBS News, "North Carolina GOP votes to override budget veto while many Democrats were at 9/11 events," 11 Sep. 2019 The House budget override vote has been on the daily floor calendar since early July, and from time to time the Republican leadership had announced that there would be no recorded votes on certain days. Washington Post, "Democrats cry ‘cowardice’ as GOP overrides NC budget veto," 11 Sep. 2019 My experiences span for over three decades in a variety of leadership roles. Bob Sandrick, cleveland.com, "Each of Strongsville’s four ward council members to face challengers Nov. 5; early voting starts Oct. 8," 10 Sep. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of leadership

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about leadership

Statistics for leadership

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leadership

The first known use of leadership was in 1765

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for leadership



English Language Learners Definition of leadership

: a position as a leader of a group, organization, etc.
: the time when a person holds the position of leader
: the power or ability to lead other people

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on leadership

What made you want to look up leadership? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


suitable to be imparted to the public

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!