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

Example Sentences

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 And James, the undeniable leader poised to truly take the reins — but still finding himself as a player. Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2023 Reatta Is Almost a Sports Car Now, after one initial flash of brilliance followed by three restyle fiascoes, the Riviera is heading for its seventeenth year as Buick's image leader. Don Sherman, Car and Driver, 8 Mar. 2023 After one quick trip to Kalevala to retrieve the depressed Mandalorian leader who was somehow still sitting forlornly on her throne, Grogu arrives back with her before Mando can be drained of all his blood. Lauren Morgan, EW.com, 8 Mar. 2023 But DeJulius has been a team leader and great ambassador for UC in his three seasons with the Bearcats. Jason Williams, The Enquirer, 7 Mar. 2023 On a sunny day in early January, Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell met at the Senate Republican leader’s home in Kentucky to celebrate. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 7 Mar. 2023 During one anti-government protest, at least 14 people were killed; another time, an opposition leader was jailed for using a microphone without official permission. Nick Roll, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Mar. 2023 On July 6, 2022, Morant signed a five-year contract extension worth up to $231 million, cementing him as the Grizzlies’ franchise leader. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 7 Mar. 2023 The French leader has withstood several daylong strikes since the start of the year. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, 7 Mar. 2023 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.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near leader

Cite this Entry

“Leader.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leader. Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


lead·​er ˈlēd-ər How to pronounce leader (audio)
: something that leads: as
: a short line for attaching the end of a fishing line to a lure or hook
: a pipe for conducting fluid
: a person that leads: as
: a person in charge or in control : boss, chief
: a horse placed in front of the other horses of a team
leaderless adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on leader

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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