Definition of leader in English:



  • 1The person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.

    ‘the leader of a protest group’
    ‘a natural leader’
    • ‘An hour or so later, the men guarding me moved off to talk to their leader, leaving his horse and myself unattended.’
    • ‘The demons formed themselves into an attack pattern that was like a flock of geese, with their leader up in front.’
    • ‘There are also leaders outside of the parliament who escape prosecution because they have been granted immunity by their own governments.’
    • ‘Members of Parliament or other leaders who promise the moon should be followed and made accountable.’
    • ‘Both parties require their parliamentary leaders to be elected or re-endorsed by caucus every three years.’
    • ‘As a result Blighty is starting a new series following the party leaders as they frantically smother the country in baby kisses.’
    • ‘In this way, climate assessments have guided higher education leaders in setting priorities for change.’
    • ‘The Claimant is a member of Parliament and the former leader of the Liberal Democrats.’
    • ‘The thinking will guide leaders in four questions to be asked about technology and ministry.’
    • ‘The volunteer leaders guide the group on a different route each week.’
    • ‘We call upon one to bless our gardens before planting and another to guide our world leaders when faced with war.’
    • ‘It requires a lot of effort and commitment to act in good faith as responsible parliamentarians and leaders of this country.’
    • ‘Consider, for instance, someone who has worked as team leader at a fast food chain.’
    • ‘The chamber had to be redesigned after parliament leaders were unhappy with it.’
    • ‘The person who was supposedly the leader went to the front of the throne and bowed.’
    • ‘Think of the discussion leader as a reporter who is creating a story with quotes from the people in the room.’
    • ‘These leaders occupied a series of palaces while the rest of the population lived in large apartment-like compounds set around courtyards.’
    • ‘She appointed the so-called informateur and formateur on the advice of party leaders in Parliament.’
    • ‘I think that this year, with only one leader, the team will be more compact in certain crucial moments of a race.’
    • ‘As is usual in the Netherlands, the Queen appointed an informateur after consulting all leaders of parliamentary parties.’
    chief, head, principal, boss
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(in the UK) a member of the government officially responsible for initiating business in the House of Commons or House of Lords.
      • ‘I thank the Leader of the House for that indication.’
      • ‘These were hurled at Michael Foot, the then Leader of the House, in the House of Commons, on July 6, 1978.’
      • ‘The decision to stand down as Leader of the House of Commons was not an easy one.’
      • ‘I have just one question to the Leader of the House.’
      • ‘Surely the Leader of the House can see that that is not parliamentary.’
      • ‘Could the Leader of the House give us some indication of when the Responsible Gambling Bill might come into the House?’
      • ‘But he is also Leader of the House, which is like being the uber-whip, and boss of the House's entire timetable.’
      • ‘I have two questions for the Leader of the House.’
      • ‘I wish to raise a question with the Leader of the House.’
      • ‘The Foreign Office is no place for a politician of progressive ideas and as a progressive he never made the most of his comparatively short time as Leader of the House.’
      • ‘I echo the comments made by the Leader of the House.’
      • ‘I see the Leader of the House, who is also the Minister in the chair, shaking his head.’
      • ‘The Leader of the House has now compounded his error.’
    2. 1.2The person or team that is winning a sporting competition at a particular time.
      ‘Nora was up among the leaders’
      • ‘It is a fairly common occurrence to have players on the same team being a league leader and a runnerup.’
      • ‘The four teams will play each other and the group leader and the second team will meet at the finals.’
      • ‘Skate Away cruised by the leaders, followed closely by Seainsky coming out of fifth place down the stretch.’
      • ‘The boys may add the league title to the team cup as league leaders with only two matches left to play this season.’
    3. 1.3An organization or company that is the most advanced or successful in a particular area.
      ‘a leader in the use of video conferencing’
      • ‘The company is a leader in the domestic car hire market both in short and long-term rentals.’
      • ‘The acquisition makes it the world leader in this niche area, an enviable position.’
      • ‘The company is now the acknowledged leader in the rural markets for personal and public transportation.’
      • ‘He's credited with turning that company into a leader in the utility-software market.’
      • ‘The US, ironically, has been a leader in many areas of tobacco control but has been weak on the framework convention.’
      • ‘We admire and congratulate Ireland for being a leader in public health.’
      • ‘The important thing is that if one achieves this, one would also become a technology leader in this area.’
      • ‘As the leader in this market, we are trying to push and re-develop it by innovations and targeting more affordable prices.’
      • ‘Still the leader in this area, it has sold only a few thousand units to date.’
      • ‘New Zealand has been a world leader in this area for some considerable time.’
      • ‘In addition, the company is a global leader in the production of whey protein and lactose powders.’
      • ‘We are not the leader in the buy-out market by accident.’
      • ‘Japan is recognised as a world leader in pioneering and developing the industry.’
      • ‘It is a leader in the area of transportation and infrastructure design.’
      • ‘It is a world leader in developing people and organisations to work more effectively.’
      • ‘A lot of these new concepts are coming out of Europe, but Canada is considered a world leader in the area.’
      • ‘Such a move would be seen as a significant boost to Scotland's bid to become a world leader in the development and commercialisation of wave power.’
      • ‘That business dated back to the 1800s and it was a one-time leader in the area.’
      • ‘We want to be a global company and the world leader in golf course management, so it is important to be in these locations.’
      • ‘Our company is the leader in online money-exchange on the Russian market.’
      pioneer, front runner, innovator, trailblazer, pathfinder, groundbreaker, trendsetter, leading light, guiding light, torch-bearer, pacemaker, originator, initiator, developer, discoverer, founder, architect
      View synonyms
  • 2The principal player in a music group.

    • ‘He is an avid composer, trumpet player and leader of small groups.’
    • ‘Duke Ellington is considered one of the greatest composers and band leaders of the 20th century.’
    • ‘Guitar soloist Robin Nolan is the leader, accompanied by Kevin Nolan on rhythm guitar and by Paul Meader on bass.’
    • ‘But in this case the leader is a musician whose authority is the music he plays.’
    • ‘As soloist, leader Alan Smale stuck the perfect sweet tone without verging on the trite.’
    • ‘For a large man the pianist leader here has kept a rather low profile musically on the local scene.’
    • ‘The band leader stopped the music and made the announcement that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.’
    • ‘He was born in Dublin where his father was a popular band leader and trumpet player.’
    • ‘The leader is a pianist and horn men Greg Gisbert and Brad Goode are among the soloists.’
    1. 2.1British The principal first violinist in an orchestra.
      • ‘The leader was swapping his violin with that of his companion on the first desk.’
      • ‘On stage at the concert hall is Roland, the quiet and intense orchestra leader, who is befriended by local musician and The Who fanatic, Alex.’
      • ‘He learnt music first with his father, leader of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, then studied in Leipzig and Munich.’
      • ‘She was on the road with her husband, an orchestra leader, sometime in the early 1900s.’
      • ‘He had been a famous violinist and concert leader for most of his professional life and still enjoyed playing music.’
      • ‘She was given a dozen encores and then the orchestra leader decided that enough was enough.’
      • ‘The orchestra leader has to figure out how to make them play together (tempo).’
      • ‘It was the day when the second fiddle became the leader of the orchestra.’
    2. 2.2North American A conductor of a small musical group.
      • ‘Then I would take the band out on the show because the orchestra leader didn't want to conduct out in front of the public.’
      • ‘One of the first documented accounts of his conducting was as a choir leader in England.’
      • ‘Ricky Ricardo is a famous orchestra leader and singer working out of the Tropicana Club in New York City.’
      • ‘She turned to the members of the orchestra and the orchestra leader - they took their bows.’
  • 3British A leading article in a newspaper.

    • ‘There is also a more limited defence of fair comment in relation primarily to the leader columns in the two issues of the newspaper.’
    • ‘Today the Guardian newspaper even featured blogging in its editorial leader column.’
    • ‘In leaders and news reports, the paper's editors and reporters ignore the unsustainable nature of endless economic growth on a finite planet.’
    • ‘What the big media needs is a cut in columnists and leaders, and a lot more of the reporting that can only be done while wearing clothes.’
    • ‘Last Saturday, the newspaper's leader column also reported on a distinctly alarming trend.’
    • ‘I object strongly to my local paper having leaders which place them with the tabloid press.’
    • ‘Nobody tells journalists not to write articles and leaders condemning this insane corporate stoking of the fires of climate change.’
    • ‘Newspapers have leaders or editorials or whatever they call them where you live, but not poetry.’
    • ‘Legislation has too often been cynically reactive to the leader columns of the tabloid newspapers.’
  • 4A short strip of non-functioning material at each end of a reel of film or recording tape for connection to the spool.

    1. 4.1A length of filament attached to the end of a fishing line to carry the hook or fly.
      • ‘Steel leaders serve no purpose but to spook panfish, and baubles and beads on a leader only worsen the situation.’
      • ‘I carry a few nine foot leaders with a 6lb point which I use when fishing waters where there is a chance of hooking a barbel.’
      • ‘The reason for not using knotted tapered leaders when fishing with very small flies is you will often get fish hitting the knots in mistake for a tiny insect.’
      • ‘I then made up a four weight rod with a double taper line and attached a nine foot leader with a nail knot.’
      • ‘I stuck out the free rod for Belinda, and I carried on changing the leaders on the other two rods.’
      • ‘I remember a few times, standing in awe after a savage take, cursing while I retrieved a flyless leader.’
      • ‘I use leaders between two and seven feet in length, made up of fifteen pound to twenty pound breaking strain mono and a foot of twenty pound wire.’
      • ‘It can also pay to make the weight or the leader visible with some highly-visible attachment when fishing at distance.’
      • ‘In fact it is usually better than anglers using light breaking strain monofilament leaders.’
      • ‘I use knotless tapered leaders but after attaching a few flies I tie in some tippet material when needed.’
      • ‘Avoid coiling the leaders too tightly, else they will resemble a clockspring when you come to use them.’
      • ‘A useful tip is to insert another swivel about two feet up from the lure or hook to help prevent any tangles to the leader.’
      • ‘It is normally fished with a conventional length leader of about 9ft with a sinking line.’
      • ‘At this point it became dis-entangled with the leader and left us, the double line tantalizingly close.’
      • ‘If you find that tangling still occurs, shorten the leader length and slow the speed of the drop.’
      • ‘If you are fishing into a wind, shorten up the leader to about 18 inches to avoid tangles.’
      • ‘By leaning forward and extending the low rod, you reduce stress on the leader and hook as the fish flails through the air.’
      • ‘What you need is a fast sinking line with a leader of no more than two feet in length.’
      • ‘Most times I use leaders of around nine feet in length but in very windy conditions I will cut my leader length back to 7 feet.’
      • ‘I have done a lot of testing with various ideas for attaching flies to leaders and the only safe and best way to do this is by using a good, well-tied knot.’
  • 5A shoot of a plant at the apex of a stem or main branch.

    • ‘A new leader cannot develop on plants that have been cut back too far.’
    • ‘The tree's main stem or stems is called a leader, a continuation of the trunk.’
    • ‘Then she chooses which of the new shoots will be the leader, or main stem.’
  • 6Printing
    A series of dots or dashes across the page to guide the eye, especially in tabulated material.