What does bellwether mean?

bellwether meaning in General Dictionary

A wether or sheep that leads the group with a bell on their neck

View more

  • sheep leading the herd often putting on a bell
  • an individual who assumes management of a movement or activity
  • A wether, or sheep, leading the flock, with a bell on his neck.
  • Therefore: A leader.

bellwether meaning in Etymology Dictionary

mid-14c. (belated 13c. in Anglo-Latin; belated 12c. as a surname), from bell (letter.) + wether; the lead sheep (on whose throat a bell had been hung) of a domesticated group. Figurative sense of "chief, frontrunner" is from mid-14c.


bellwether meaning in Veterinary Dictionary

a phrase use to indicate a castrate male sheep which is used as a flock leader; they often wear a bell around their throat.


bellwether meaning in General Dictionary

(letter.) A wether, or sheep, leading the group, with a bell on their throat.

View more

  • (letter.) thus: A leader.