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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 ?
02% each, these 59 companies are much more globally diverse than the America-centric bellwethers and include the Japanese industrial equipment manufacturer Toshiba Machine, the Norwegian defense contractor Kongsberg Gruppen, and the American farm machinery maker Deere
Many judges allow both the plaintiffs and defendants to suggest potential cases to proceed to trial, so corporate defendants should carefully weigh the pros and cons of recommending certain cases as bellwethers.
Evidence of Bellwethers suppliers' GHG- Scope3 Emission reduction efforts includes California based IPOWER.
Chapters explain the basics of climate change, including both natural and manmade factors that influence it, counterarguments to those who denounce the existence of global warming, natural phenomena that serve as bellwethers to the planet's crisis such as frog populations and temperature trends, future possibilities and the hope provided by green technology, and much more.
Beltz describes the animals' role as bellwethers for changes in the Earth's ecological health.
For many years, two stocks were considered bellwethers for the Tokyo market--Nomura Holdings and NTT.
But our Florida bellwethers may be telltale signs of the race tightening.
military personnel abroad often serve as bellwethers of pending microbiological trends at home.
Among those speaking to the group were employees and executives from Silicon Valley bellwethers like Cisco Systems, Genentech, Intel, Qualcomm and Sun, as well as entrepreneurs from ME Fox and Visonael.
Learn about four stocks that could serve as bellwethers for your portfolio as we move leisurely to higher ground.
Companies that attempt to implement Six Sigma initiatives without leveraging proven methods developed by industry bellwethers are far less likely to reap the rewards enjoyed by successful Six Sigma programs," said Keith Symmers, vice president at Best Practices, LLC.