Bellwether meaning

bĕlwĕ th ər
A male sheep, usually wearing a bell, that leads the flock.
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Anything suggesting the general tendency or direction of events, style, etc.
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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.

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One that serves as a leader or as a leading indicator of future trends.
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A leader, esp. of a sheeplike crowd.
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A stock or bond that is widely believed to be an indicator of the overall market's condition.
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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.
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The leading sheep of a flock, having a bell hung round its neck.
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Anything that indicates future trends.
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Origin of bellwether

  • Middle English bellewether wether with a bell hung from its neck, leader of the flock belle bell bell1 wether wether wether

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English belwether, belleweder (“a sheep with a bell around its neck to lead a flock”), equivalent to bell +‎ wether.

    From Wiktionary