bellwether (noun)

bell·​weth·​er | \ ˈbel-ˈwe-t͟hər (noun)

One that takes the lead (leader), initiative, or who actively establishes a trend that is followed by others.

Long ago, shepherds would hang a bell around the neck of one sheep in their flock, designating it the lead sheep. This animal was called the bellwether, from the words belle (meaning “bell”) and wether (a castrated male sheep).

Example: Betsey Johnson is a bellwether of fashion.

– Information compiled by M. Schwartz

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