- The definition of a bellwether is someone or something that is an indicator of future trends.
If rising unemployment numbers are an indicator of a recession, then they are an example of a bellwether of recession.
- a male sheep, usually wearing a bell, that leads the flock
- a leader, esp. of a sheeplike crowd
- anything suggesting the general tendency or direction of events, style, etc.
Origin of bellwetherME: see bell and amp; wether
Origin of bellwetherMiddle English bellewether, wether with a bell hung from its neck, leader of the flock : belle, bell; see bell1 + wether, wether; see wether.
From Middle English belwether, belleweder (“a sheep with a bell around its neck to lead a flock”), equivalent to bell + wether.
bellwether - Investment & Finance Definition
A stock, index, bond, or other financial instrument that shows the direction of a market. Significant and widely owned stocks may become bellwethers of market direction. In the Treasury bond market, the 10-year note is a bellwether.