Thursday, August 06, 2015

Word of the day: bellwether

The word of the day is bellwether:

  1. wether or other male sheep that leads the flock, usually bearing a bell.
  2. a person or thing that assumes the leadership or forefront, as of a profession or industry: Paris is a bellwether of the fashion industry.
  3. a person or thing that shows the existence or direction of a trend; index.
  4. a person who leads a mob, mutiny, conspiracy, or the like; ringleader.
mid-15c., from bell + wether; the lead sheep (on whose neck a bell was hung) of a domesticated flock; used earlier in the figurative sense of "chief, leader" (early 15c.). (

"This inventive take on the traditional family novel nods at bellwethers of the genre but feels as if it could only have been written yesterday."

- "Briefly Noted", 3 August 2015 The New Yorker (

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