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bellwether

definition


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 15, 2020 is:

bellwether • BEL-WEH-ther  • noun

: one that takes the lead or initiative : leader; also : an indicator of trends

Examples:

“The tech giant has long been a bellwether for global industry, and investors will now hope that is still the case. Apple said on Thursday that its revenue rose nearly 1 percent to $58.3 billion in the first three months of the year….” — Jack Nicas, The New York Times, 30 Apr. 2020

“That transition to natural gas as the bellwether of the state’s energy portfolio has decreased emissions in the state nearly 90% since 1990 as natural gas production grew eleven-fold from 2010 to 2018.” — Mike Butler, The Observer-Reporter (Washington, Pennsylvania), 4 May 2020

Did you know?

We usually think of sheep more as followers than leaders, but in a flock one sheep must lead the way. Long ago, it was common practice for shepherds to hang a bell around the neck of one sheep in their flock, thereby designating it the lead sheep. This animal was called the bellwether, a word formed by a combination of the Middle English words belle (meaning “bell”) and wether (a noun that refers to a male sheep that has been castrated). It eventually followed that bellwether would come to refer to someone who takes initiative or who actively establishes a trend that is taken up by others. This usage first appeared in English in the 15th century.

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Ken Saunders

Freelancer, Gadget collector, Biohacker

Ken Saunders is a freelance writer, gadget collector and Biohacker. Kens’ professional background is in Information Technology as well as Health and Wellness. His experience has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He especially enjoys researching and writing articles on the topics of Technology, Food, and all things Freelancing. His articles have appeared in many online sites, including Lifehack.media, Andrew Christian, Alltherooms.com and Vocal.media.You can learn more about his services at http://www.ken-saunders.info.

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