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One that serves as a leader or as a leading indicator of future trends: "The degree to which the paper is censored is a political bellwether" (Justine De Lacy).

[Middle English bellewether, wether with a bell hung from its neck, leader of the flock : belle, bell; see bell1 + wether, wether; see wether.]


1. (Breeds) a sheep that leads the herd, often bearing a bell
2. a leader, esp one followed unquestioningly


(ˈbɛlˌwɛð ər)

1. a person or thing that assumes leadership.
2. a person or thing that indicates a trend.
3. a sheep wearing a bell and leading a flock.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.bellwether - someone who assumes leadership of a movement or activity
leader - a person who rules or guides or inspires others
2.bellwether - sheep that leads the herd often wearing a bellbellwether - sheep that leads the herd often wearing a bell
wether - male sheep especially a castrated one


[ˈbɛlwɛðər] n (mainly US) (= indication) → indicateur m, baromètre m
References in periodicals archive ?
As seen in the DFMGI, bellweather Emaar Properties has also become the most oversold since the bottom of the bear market in January 2016.
So far, likes have mainly translated to print-media jobs in the rarified realm of style, not often a beacon or bellweather of democracy.
8 percent leased and is home to AMC Theatres, Lucky Strike, LA Fitness, FTW Chicago, Walgreens, Bright Horizons, NIU Sushi, Bellweather and BMO Harris Bank.
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In fact, the last decade of political turmoil in Arizona, including the passage of Proposition 200 in 2004 that introduced a voter ID Law as an explicit attempt at political suppression (Deutsch, 2011), may be a bellweather of future backlash, as the White population loses the security of its former majority status.
270) Susan Finkelstein, 'High Noon for Animal Rights Law: The Coming Showdown between Pet Owners and Guardians' (2005) 62 Bellweather 18, 20; Steven White, 'Companion Animals: Members of the Family or Legally Discarded Objects?
A stranger in a new town, Thomas Bellweather has not been around long enough to make lasting connections.
Supporters argue thatAaAaAeAeAaAeAeA should the plan find success in Ohio, hom corn-fed, MidwestAaAaAeAeAaAeAeA towns like Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus, a frequent bellweather of national politics, then legalization could expand anywhere.
The result adds to the mighty Staples legacy, the voice an earthy bellweather in songs that effortlessly combine societal struggles with the yearning of the heart and spiritual questing.
The Bellweather Ewe": Recent Developments in Ethnographic Filmmaking and the Aesthetics of Anthropological Enquiry.
Brazil goes to poll in October and the results could be a bellweather for the whole region.
It begins when a journalist with the WASP-y name of Taylor Bellweather drowns.