• Leader


    • UK IPA: /ˈliː.də(ɹ)/
    • US IPA: /ˈliːdɚ/
    • Rhymes: -iːdə(r)


    From Middle English leder, ledere, from Old English lǣdere ("leader"), equivalent to lead + -er. Cognate with Scots ledar, leidar ("leader"), West Frisian lieder ("leader"), Dutch leider ("leader"), German Leiter ("leader, conductor, manager"), Danish leder ("leader, manager"), Swedish ledare ("leader, conductor, director"), Icelandic leiðari ("leader, conductor").

    Full definition of leader



    (plural leaders)
    1. Any person or thing that leads or conducts.
      • 2012-01, Philip E. Mirowski, Harms to Health from the Pursuit of Profits, In an era when political leaders promise deliverance from decline through America’s purported preeminence in scientific research, the news that science is in deep trouble in the United States has been as unwelcome as a diagnosis of leukemia following the loss of health insurance.
    2. One who goes first.Follow the leader.
    3. One having authority to direct.We elected her team leader.
    4. One who leads a political party or group of elected party members; sometimes used in titles.Leader of the House of CommonsSenate Majority Leader
    5. A person or thing that leads in a certain field in terms of excellence, success, etc.The company is the leader in home remodeling in the county.
    6. (music) A performer who leads a band, choir, or a section of an orchestra.
    7. (music, UK) The first violin in a symphony orchestra; the concertmaster.
    8. The dominant animal in a pack of animals, such as wolves or lions.
      • 1987, Sylvia A. Johnson, Wolf Pack: Tracking Wolves in the Wild‎, The gesture of licking and nipping a leader's muzzle is similar to the food-begging behavior of wolf pups and may be related to it.
    9. An animal placed in advance of others, especially on a team of horse, oxen, or dogs.
      • 1846, w, The mission of the Comforter, and other sermons with Notes Chapter On the Comforter's conviction of Righteousness, Still there are many passages in his Donne's writings, where it is plain that he forgot to pull in his leaders; and they gallop away with him at times over hill and dale, over ploughed land and waste.
    10. (botany) A fast-growing terminal shoot of a woody plant.
      • 1975, David J. De Laubenfels, Mapping the world's vegetation: regionalization of formations and flora‎, A strong central leader may result in essentially horizontal branches resembling a "telephone pole."
    11. A pipe for conducting rain water from a roof to a cistern or to the ground.
    12. (UK) The first, or the principal, editorial article in a newspaper; a leading or main editorial article; a lead story.
    13. (fishing) A section of line between the main fishing line and the snell of a hook, intended to be more resistant to bites and harder for a fish to detect than the main fishing line.
    14. A piece of material at the beginning or end of a reel or roll to allow the material to the threaded or fed onto something, as a reel of film onto a projector or a roll of paper onto a rotary printing press.
    15. (marketing) A loss leader or a popular product sold at a normal price.
    16. (printing) A type having a dot or short row of dots upon its face.
    17. (printing, in the plural) A row of dots, periods, or hyphens, used in tables of contents, etc., to lead the eye across a space to the right word or number.
    18. (fishing) A net for leading fish into a pound, weir, etc.
      • 1852, D. Gilbert, Appleton's dictionary of machines, mechanics, engine-work, and engineering‎ Chapter Geering, when two wheels geer together, the one which communicates the motion to the other is called the driver or leader; and the wheel impelled is the follower
    19. (mining) A branch or small vein, not important in itself, but indicating the proximity of a better one.
    20. (nautical) A block of hard wood pierced with suitable holes for leading ropes in their proper places.
    21. (engineering) The drive wheel in any kind of machinery.



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